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Bishop's Itchington - with Nick Hooper - 21/ 07/ 2018

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:35 am
by keithmeredith
Billed as “Two Friends in Concert” we were anticipating a vintage evening of guitar playing entertainment from Messrs. Giltrap and Hooper.

St. Michael’s Church, Bishop’s Itchington was again the venue for the performance. Our host - Rev. Martin Green - welcomed us warmly and, from a batch of many, produced concert tickets with our names attached without the need for us to identify ourselves. We concluded that clergymen must have very good memories.

We had realized that Malc and Kaz Welch were present - elementary my dear Watson, we espied their vehicle outside - but it was a lovely surprise to see Mike and Sue Holton attending as well. Sue had camera equipment set up to record the evening and her superb results are available to view via the magical sorcery that is the ‘interweb’.

Unusually Gordon’s extensive array of guitars was absent, and the two friends completed much of the occasion playing matching Fylde instruments - Nick’s modelled on Gordon’s – and they looked and sounded superb.

The set list included contributions from both players’ catalogues - with the other providing harmonies, counter melodies and accompaniments. These combinations produced a wholesome, rich sound that lifted the individual compositions to new heights - the friends clearly enjoyed the experience of playing together.

Among the works played for us were Gordon’s: Maddy Goes West, This Father’s Love, Isabella’s Wedding, Angie, Heartsong (of course), and Roots.

Nick gave us a very varied collection of works including Tune No 2 – a piece written especially to perform with Gordon – Farewell the Armada, Basement Rag, No Disrespect, and Snowy (for his Morris Minor). I understand that the aforementioned are as yet unrecorded.

Second set offerings had a more Irish flavour, including: Trip to Sligo, O’Neill’s March/Top the Barrel, Star of Munster, Derry Hornpipe and others, which are available on Nick’s highly recommended CD, 6 Strings.

Both Gordon Giltrap and Nick Hooper are very accomplished musicians and composers, and it was interesting to observe their differing playing styles - Nick’s more “correct” technique verses Gordon’s unique method – to achieve the same objective of beautiful music. To see them encouraging and supporting each other was a joy.

I have attended the occasional Giltrap gig and am fairly familiar - but still no less awestruck and excited - with his work. This concert, however, was my first experience of Nick Hooper and his music – and he has definitely gained a supporter. Quite apart from his skills as a composer, musician and performer anyone who drives a Morris Minor and likes old Land-Rovers must be a thoroughly good egg.

If the maxim that states that the harder you work at something the easier it looks is accurate then Gordon and Nick have clearly worked hard – although each will undoubtedly say that the effort of learning and absorbing new pieces was a delight and a pleasure and keeps them fresh. Coincidentally both delight and pleasure are most emphatically two of the words that describe the affect on the audience of this exceptional entertainment.

(review presented with sincere apologies for my tardiness)

Re: Bishop's Itchington - with Nick Hooper - 21/ 07/ 2018

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:28 pm
by Roger USA
Hi Keith,

Another great review for what was obviously a very entertaining concert.

I really must get back to England for a Gordon Concert - although a leg injury has prevented me from flying for most of this year. I would love to hear This Father's Love played live!

All the Best,


Re: Bishop's Itchington - with Nick Hooper - 21/ 07/ 2018

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 5:39 pm
by Roger USA
Coincidently I have just stumbled across the excellent videos of Gordon and Nick Hooper on You Tube, which include This Father's Love, Roots and Maddie Goes West. Well worth viewing for those who weren't fortunate enough to be there!

Best, Roger