Such was the surprised exclamation to my beloved as we approached St.James Hill church in Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield – a very short drive from Giltrap Mansions - to support a certain guitarist of our acquaintance. The exterior brickwork of the building is rendered in a provocative shade of salmon – I discovered later to resemble the red Hollington sandstone of the older part of the structure.
The interior is of the ‘Arts & Crafts’ (1880-1920) tradition – in excellent decorative order with a splendid stained glass east window and opulent ornamental screens. It also, we discovered, has rather good acoustics.
Our first encounter was with Malc and Kaz attending to roadie and merchandise duties respectively – and the divine Hilary rapidly appeared to welcome us.
Our host the Rev.Daniel Ramble, the vicar, introduced Gordon to an untypical audience for a Giltrap gig, who were perhaps attending to support the beneficiary bodies of the evening – the local Scouts and Teenage Cancer – rather than being Troubadour fans or hardcore guitar aficionados. Judging by the response at the conclusion of the concert, it is clear that G has gained yet more devotees and admirers.
Gordon looked fit, healthy and well, and from the start appeared to be enjoying himself. The performance included Shining Morn, A Dublin Day, On Camber Sands, Angie, Heartsong (of course), and Down the River. The Dodo had a stimulating Dream, Maddie once more went West, and Lucifer was confined to his Cage. A fine evening’s entertainment.
Each seat in the auditorium has an advantage. Towards the rear, you catch the full stereophonic benefit of Gordon’s effects: whilst sitting near the front allows you to examine his finger style and observe his facial expressions of concentration.
On this occasion, Fiona and I decided to sit ‘front and centre’ and – although we were aware of the audience behind us – it was as if Gordon was performing a personal concert just for us. At one point – unannounced and, we later learned, unplanned and unrehearsed – Gordon played the piece dedicated to my Beloved. This impromptu rendition put a beaming smile on Fiona’s face that was still there the next morning. Thank you so much G.
The excellence of his compositions, the distinction of his style, the virtuosity of his playing, and his self-effacing manner at his concerts all combine to create the legend that is Gordon Giltrap. Long may the ongoing chronicles continue.
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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Keith, thank you for this review (and I love the ending: "The excellence of his compositions, the distinction of his style, the virtuosity of his playing, and his self-effacing manner at his concerts all combine to create the legend that is Gordon Giltrap. Long may the ongoing chronicles continue.")
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