Situated on the northern edge of downtown Peterborough there lies a building that conjures reminiscences of my younger days. The Broadway theatre was formerly a single screen cinema of the Odeon group, and the original deco style exterior invokes memories of the ‘tanner rush’ held every Saturday morning - for an old sixpence (a tanner) kids were treated to some cartoons, a serial (always leaving the hero in a fix), a “B” feature (usually an old black and white western) and a main feature.
Now a theatre, the bright and airy interior retains many features from its 1930’s cinematic heritage.
When we arrived at the allotted time all appeared dark and unoccupied – until we realized that our objective was the modern annex alongside. The function room – complete with bar – was laid out cabaret style and appropriately featured a classic guitar collection displayed along one wall.
There were some ‘technical issues’ with the house equipment - including occasional feedback from the PA and an intrusive overhead air conditioner - which both Carrie and Gordon overcame in professional manner to present a polished and sophisticated performance.
Unannounced, the charming Carrie took to the stage and in her own appealing manner proceeded to entertain with self-penned compositions from her recent album - Seductive Sky. Included were: Purple Heart, Maria in the Moon, Dancing Dragonfly, and High on a Hill. Her songs are both perceptive and insightful and are enchantingly presented; she demonstrates a passion in her lyrics and no mean skill with her instrument.
Gordon’s arrival on the platform signaled that the evening was to continue in the more familiar Giltrap style – amusing narratives, self-deprecating wit and an exhibition of exceptional genius with wood and wire.
The first set seemed to encompass older favorites: Maddie, Isabella and Mrs. Singer were all present, and there was a special appearance of Doris’s Smile. The response to a mid-set audience request for Lucifer’s Cage resulted in a slightly incongruous early appearance for this customary encore.
After a brief recess our Troubadour commenced his second stint with a tribute to legends of the past: Bert Jansch and Davy Graham - his version of Angie – before Carrie shared the stage for my favorite of her songs: Holly Blue – with Giltrap accompaniment.
Music continued with some of Gordon’s more recent pieces – Sadie in May, Loren, and Anya’s Dream interspersed with classics – Camber Sands, Five Dollar Guitar, Heartsong (of course), and Down the River – leading all too soon to a finale with the substituted encore, Roots.
I have attended one or two Giltrap gigs over the years and, although there are sometimes issues with venues – and I feel sure that some audiences have been less than forthcoming – I have never left feeling short changed. The combination of Gordon Giltrap and Carrie Martin IS live music at its very best.
Posts on this board should be directly about Gordon's concerts. Comments, reviews or questions relating to Gordon's concerts are welcome here.
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