Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

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keithmeredith
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Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

Postby keithmeredith » Sat Sep 27, 2014 11:34 am

Although I very seldom attend Gordon’s weekday concerts simply because I have to arise at stupid o’clock in the morning for work, when I received an e-mail from Rev. Martin Green inviting me to revisit the delightful St. Michael’s church for “an evening of guitar artistry and song”, I just knew that I would have to make a special effort.

The Troubadour was to be accompanied by both Martin – producing mellow, melodic tones from his 12 string - and the charming Carol Lee Sampson – whose diminutive stature houses both a talented songwriter and a beautiful mellifluous voice. The concert was to feature songs from ‘Echoes of Heaven’ performed publically for the first time.

A firm handshake from mien host, Martin, welcomed me to the church and I was ushered into the dressing room. Resisting the temptation to play with the Lego and other toys available – Gordon and I spent some time together comparing our various ailments and indispositions like two characters from ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.

It was a special pleasure to see that the twiddly knobs department was in the more than capable hands of Sir Mike Stranks – enticed out of semi retirement to handle sound duties for the occasion. This knight amongst men had arrived to set up at 11am, but was still cheery and ebullient despite having put in a long day.

Billed as ‘Gordon Giltrap and friends’ the concert promised to be a laid back and happy occasion – and I sat eagerly with the ever-supportive Hilary next to the sound desk. The format included solo pieces by each performer alternating with diverse duets and interspersed with songs by The Band, with Carol successfully taking on the part of Oliver Wakeman on keyboard/piano.

Gordon’s solo contributions for the evening included: Mrs. Singer’s Waltz, Here Comes the Sun, On Camber Sands, and a perfect Fiona’s Smile that my Beloved was able to enjoy “down the line”.

Regarding the excerpts from “Echoes of Heaven” - Martin Green’s convictions were clearly the inspiration for his composing lyrics to some Giltrap favouite pieces – and the words of divine praise and sustenance meld effortlessly with the original harmonies as though preordained. Your individual ideas of faith notwithstanding, they are wonderful tunes.

Carol also demonstrated her fertile creative talents with two original songs devoted to friends who had suffered distress in their lives. I was particularly taken with “Alleluiah is Our Song” inspired by the words of one enduring cancer.

Gordon’s preamble to his Greatest Hit makes reference to other pieces he has produced for the magic fish tank – including his satisfaction in writing the music for ‘World Bowls’ – and also the nomination of Heartsong for an Ivor Novello award. An act of mischief from the sound tech. department caused some amusement when unexpected musical interjections were broadcast.

A comic song by Martin that, I think, was dedicated to his wife further lightened the atmosphere – and the final encore allowed Carol to exercise her vocal gifts to create a different but equally fine version of “Anyone Can Fly” to that of Paul Manzi on “Ravens & Lullabies.” - which sent everyone home humming.

‘Gordon Giltrap and friends’ was a thoroughly appropriate billing – friends were visibly taking pleasure performing on stage and new friends in the audience enjoyed the entertainment. It says much for his character that the Troubadour is happy to share the stage with others and support them in arranging his music in other forms. This was an inspirational, uplifting, joyous, happy experience that sadly is unlikely to be repeated.

An evening of Gordon Giltrap’s music with a spiritual edge – works for me.

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Mike Stranks
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Re: Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Sep 28, 2014 6:37 pm

.... and you m'Lord Meredith are a Prince among Reviewers!

Superb as always...
The older I get, the better I used to be

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Roger USA
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Re: Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

Postby Roger USA » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:43 pm

An excellent review as ever Keith. The next best thing to being there.

All the Best,

Roger

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Mike Stranks
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Re: Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

Postby Mike Stranks » Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:31 pm

... and just a little rough-mix taster of what you missed...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5e9BGpBScDIck9QUzk4aGNERHc/edit?usp=sharing
The older I get, the better I used to be

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piotrwargan
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Re: Bishop Itchington - 23 / 9/ 2014

Postby piotrwargan » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:49 pm

Hi there,

Reading the Gordon Giltrap concert review is really the next best thing to being there! Thank you, who share your impressions and spend time writing, it is appreciated by many (I think).

Mike, if you can put some more, please do as these are real pearls.

All the best,
Piotr


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