Our journey to the beautiful city of Worcester – famous among other things for its Anglican cathedral by the River Severn, and the delicious concoction purveyed by Messrs. Lee & Perrins – was uneventful. My Beloved and I were more than content quietly exploring the city under a bright blue sky – and I was looking forward to introducing Fiona to the atmospheric arts venue, Huntingdon Hall, that evening.
Situated almost opposite the Cathedral in the city centre, the Hall’s former Methodist history is well in evidence. The interior still features wooden pews and boxes of its era and exudes that solemn, very slightly musty ambiance. We had journeyed to support Gordon Giltrap MBE and Nick Hooper in an evening of musical bliss and had opted for a private box from which to appreciate the concert – and although that sounds grand it was decidedly lacking in luxuries and frills (and carpet and comfy cushions).
The structure of this gig differed from previous Gordon and Nick shows in that Mr. Hooper took to the stage unaccompanied for the initial part and proceeded to enchant with self-penned works from his repertoire and album. His presentation has developed over the times we have seen him play, and he appears much more confident and relaxed with his audience. His chosen works – including From the Bottom of My Socks and Basement Blues – were presented in his precise and accurate style.
When Mr. Giltrap took to the stage in his new charity shop special shirt - some friendly banter was exchanged between the two friends: G particularly emphasizing Nick’s being a prolific and acclaimed composer with a couple of BAFTA’s under his belt (notably for the soundtrack to a modestly successful movie franchise about a boy wizard named Harry) as well as a published author.
There followed an archetypal traditional Giltrap concert encompassing favourite pieces old and new, including; Appalachian Dreaming, the Lord’s Seat, Shining Morn, This Father’s Love and introduced both a new composition called The Kissing Gate, and a new guitar – a Gibson J200 - a gift from Pete Townsend to “cheer Gordon up”. A flawless rendering of Dodo’s Dream concluded the first half festivities.
Following a short intermission both artistes appeared on stage. It is manifest that when a piece of music is played by more than one instrument the resultant harmonies and counter melodies cohere to produce a richer, more rounded sound. And so it was with Maddie, Ring of Kerry and Roots – performed to inaugurate the continuation of the concert.
The classic Giltrap vibe continued after Mr. Hooper took his leave. An out of season Christmas Carol, a tribute to Davy Graham – Angie, and a stroll along Camber Sands, led us to the Fast Approaching, Lucifer’s Cage. The medley of G’s Greatest Hit (as he puts it) served as an encore.
This gig presented us with a synchronous miscellany of music from two gifted and brilliant musicians/composers in an intimate and atmospheric venue. Both have received plaudits and recognition for their genius, toil and effort and I sincerely look forward to further collaborations.
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