It's been many years since I first heard Brian McGuiness play the drums, and I was saturated by a tremendous amount of new music back then at that time. It takes a certain undefinable quality for a band's music to have such staying power and endurance to remain as vital and vivid so many years later. If there were one band who fit that bill, that I absorbed through both their studio work and live, it was undeniably, indelibly, FIVE POUND OPINION... Brian played drums, and brothers and sisters, it was just mesmerizing watching him and the band lock-in and lay waste on stage. Just total destruction- in the best sense. Listening to and watching him play drums really made me listen to the instrument(s) very differently. I began appreciating much more the contrast between drummers who merely 'keep time' and those who really drive a song, drive a band, and who are the backbone, engine, and thumping heart. Brian's playing changed what I expected and hoped for out of a drummer. I'd never heard a plain snare sound the way he made it, with this amazing dry, sharp "Crack!", some 'bite' to it (and since then I can't enjoy the more dull and 'wet' sounding snares, how some bands/ albums are mixed).
There were standards in Brian's playing, both chops and textures, that over these many years others have had to measure up to... and I don't think anyone on earth has used an ice-bell as tastefully and to such great effect as Brian McGuiness.