General News

January 2014 News Update

January 2014 News Update
December 3rd 2013 Festival Hall London. Bert Jansch Celebration

It was with a degree of trepidation that I approached this concert, knowing it would for me be quite an emotional experience. I had also been told that I was only allotted a short 2 minute plus spot in which to make my own personal tribute to Bert and more to the point his wonderful and deeply missed wife Loren.

As it turned out I had a great time spent with Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson, Wizz Jones and the legendary Donovan along with old friend Ralph McTell and Danny Thomson and Beverly Martin who I hadn't seen for at least 35 years. Jacquie Mcshee and Terry Cox were also there along with Robert Plant who was such a nice guy with no star trip or apparent ego. I'm sure that Bernard Butler felt very privileged to accompany him on a couple of Bert classics.

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Martin Simpson had been given the task of MC and Musical director, and I must say he did a great job in both areas. Donovan was a sweetheart and blended in well with everyone, and I SO enjoyed our anorak chat about guitars and strings!

As well as Eric Clapton not attending, my old friend John Renbourn also decided to pass on being there, for reasons known only to him but reasons I instinctively think I would have understood and respected.

Another lovely surprise was seeing that fine singer Bonnie Dobson, who wrote the classic song Morning Dew. Many years ago I did some radio sessions for the lady who remembered those early days with affection. The woman still has the most beautiful voice imaginable. She was also a nice person and a joy to be with.

I hate giving blow by blow accounts of any event and much prefer to try and convey the essence of the evening, which in all honesty is impossible within the framework of this NEWS page.

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I think the main memory of the whole thing was that beautiful photograph of Loren on the huge screen behind me when I performed the piece, and the applause I received from this packed Festival Hall when I finished.

The lovely comments I received backstage from many people including Ralph McTell and the Auerbach family who confessed that they couldn't hold back the tears during my rendition of Loren will remain for some time to come.

It was wonderful for Hilary to be there with me and also our dear pals Cath & Geoff Olner. Sadly Sue & Mike Holton couldn't be there as it was a concert too far from them being mid week, bearing in mind that these lovely people travel miles to attend my shows, and for that I thank them most sincerely.

Sadly no mention was made of my appearance in the Guardian or the Standard who reviewed the concert, which I must confess disappointed me. A mention would have been nice. This lovely posting (featured below) on the discussion Forum truly lifted my spirits.
Hi Gordon,

Just wanted to say that I thought your piece for Loren was the best of everything at the Bert Jansch celebration concert last night.

I didn't know your music before, I'm in my 30s and so a bit of a newcomer to Bert's music too.

I thought perhaps you were going to sing, and then when you didn't... for some reason I found your performance incredibly moving. I'm amazed by what you managed to communicate without words. I've seen some of the reviews of the event in the papers and was disappointed not to see your performance mentioned.


In terms of performance for me Wizz Jones was the one who did it! I have known Wizz for years, and it was he who replaced me in the band Accolade. Wizz still plays with great energy and feel at the age of 74, and his trusty old Epiphone Texan sounded as good as ever!

There is talk of repeating the concert again next year in Edinburgh. If they ask me I shall request they give me TWO pieces to play as I would love to perform my version of Angie!

The whole concert was filmed by the BBC, and I was interviewed the night of the rehearsal to be included in the footage. I was later told that "highlights" of the concert are planned for broadcast January. If my dedication to Loren is regarded as a "highlight" then indeed it shall be included. Let us hope eh my friends!

I think Bert and Loren would have approved of my heartfelt musical tribute, and indeed of the whole evening.

It is STILL hard to believe they are no longer with us, but Bert's music I believe will live on!

David Finney portrait

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In case you missed the earlier announcement, the David Finney portrait is complete and limited edition prints are available as well as the greetings cards.

Prints signed by David are mounted to 20" x 16" at £65 (including p&p)

Cards signed by David and Gordon are 7" x 5" and are £5 each, with 20% donated to Musicians Benevolent Fund.

Please contact the artist direct at or visit his website for more information.

Roger Bucknall's book, "Wood, Sweat and Tears"

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I received a copy of this remarkable book recently and wanted to share the good news with you. This is a fantastic piece of work and a testament to my friend and world class guitar maker.

I feel privileged  to have written the forward for it along with Martin Carthy, Martin Simpson and Eric Bibb. I also feel honoured to be the first artist featured picture wise and to be the last picture in the book.

This is a serious coffee table book for anyone interested in the development of Fylde guitars and the life of this remarkable and generous man. Even those of you aren't into guitars and just objects of sheer beauty then this book is for you. A feast for the eyes!

A perfect gift for anyone who loves beautiful objects and particularly of course guitars. This a limited edition run and each one is signed and numbered by the great man. I'm looking forward to setting time aside and reading it from start to finish!

I'm currently the owner of five FYLDE guitars and hope to acquire a new one in 2014. How lucky am I!
Roger writes:
From RB newsletter

I am still receiving orders for books from all over the world, and we managed to get out all the pre orders over the last weekend. I didn't realise how hard the packaging was going to be, tape dispensers are evil, dangerous things, and cardboard has a disagreeable nature. Bubble wrap is fun though, but I prefer bigger bubbles.

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I signed the first 200, and added messages where requested, and it was painful. The opposable thumb was a good step forward in evolution, but a renewable thumb would be even better.

After breaking some bones in my right hand recently I find it hard to hold a pen for a long time, and my handwriting was bad to start with, so some of you may have received some strange messages.

My favourite was "very best wiskers for Christmas and the New Year" and someone called Roy Ducknose seems to have signed some of them. Sorry. No idea who he is.

Here are a few (genuine) comments received from those who have bought the book so far:
Superb; Beautiful; Absolutely delighted; A real book - excellent; Insightful and truly absorbing; Fabulous, fascinating; Sumptuous, wow!; Epic achievement; Outstanding piece of work.

Thank you everybody, but I hate this picture, and the bench is never that clean.

CRS concert Maltby December 7th

This was my final concert with Oliver Wakeman of 2013, and Paul Manzi was our special guest. This was a fun way to finish the year in a Prog Rock mode and the audience received us really well. We did a full, two hour show and included many of the songs from Ravens and Lullabies along with some extra songs from Oliver's back catalogue.

The next time I appear on stage with Oliver will be April 2014 with the full band.

The first two dates are 3rd April Farncombe Music Club and 6th April, The Robin 2, Bilston

Try to catch us then!
Ravens & Lullabies: Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman

Online Review by James R Turner

Two musical powerhouses in their respective fields, guitar maestro Giltrap and keyboard supreme Oliver Wakeman combine their considerable talents on this magnificent concept album on Esoteric.

With Giltraps effortlessly beautiful playing and Wakemans beautifully fluid keyboards, any album with one of them on is a joy; with them both together you’re getting a masterclass in collaborative performances.

With Olivers vocalist of choice the incomparable Paul Manzi on board (seeing Oliver and Paul perform together sends shivers down your spine) and with Wakeman and Giltrap trading licks, exchanging riffs and building things of beauty around each others talents, has to be heard to be believed.

This album is a thing of great power and great beauty and is one which you’ll find you keep returning to again and again, and each time you’ll discover something new, one of the best albums either man has put their name to, and this is one of those collaborations you hope continues.

Bramall Hall.

Once again December came around along with my annual concert at Bramall Hall near Stockport. This year’s concert was a sell out and I wanted to do something special, so decided to play some newer pieces like Loren and Anyone can Fly along with old favourites like Down the River and Tailor Bird.

Anyway a cracking evening and a lovely way to see the year out.

Here's to next year at Bramall.

The Lamb Eastbourne

This 400 year old pub is a Jewell in the crown of pubs here in the UK, and "Upstairs at the Lamb" is a regular feature on the gig list for the old town. This is more than just a concert in the upstairs room of an ancient pub, and is more akin to an intimate concert atmosphere, and this is exactly what this evening turned out to be.

Although a bit of an out of the way gig for me geographically it was certainly worth the drive in the end, and my thanks go to Bob the promoter of this charming venue and Jim the pub landlord and their helpful staff. I think it would be good to return one of these days!

Dave Hodson Uke

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The late Dave Hodson made the most wonderful gypsy jazz guitars, He was also a very generous guy, who gave me a number of instruments including a tenor guitar that I gave to Acoustic magazine to raise money in the form of an auction for Rob Armstrong after his workshop burnt down.

I also used one of his guitars to record the track Three Legged Horse on an early album. That guitar is now owned by John Etheridge. Prior to me borrowing the guitar it had been on loan to Hank Marvin. It was a great sounding guitar! You can also see me playing a custom made guitar based on a pre-war Martin Colletti, also made by Dave on YouTube.

He also gave me this lovely Uke, which I used on an album track somewhere in the distant past. It needs a little bit of TLC but plays really sweetly.

The rose by the way was given to me, along with all the other performers after the BJ concert.

Private Booking, David Ferraby’s Birthday Dec 2013

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On Saturday the 21st of December I did a surprise birthday concert at the beautiful Corse Lawn Hotel just outside Tewksbury. The event was organised by the birthday boy’s lovely wife Sara and it worked a treat!

David insisted that he didn't want anything arranged for his special big six zero birthday and went fishing with friends that morning and then arranged to meet up at the above venue for lunch, only to find that a wonderful meal had been arranged and 27 guests had been invited. He had no idea that I was the entertainment for the afternoon, and the look on his face when we walked into the bar was a picture.

The whole thing worked beautifully.

I love being involved in special occasions like these and feel it’s a privilege to be a part of a special day, and more to the point a special memory. The birthday boy David is a long-time fan as is Sara, and there was a special request for Isabella's Wedding and Heartsong. I later found out the significance of Isabella's Wedding, as their daughter is an Isabella and on top of that she shares the same birthday as I on April 6th!

Our thanks go to Sara for organising the whole thing, and my personal thanks to them both for looking after us so well.
David writes:

If you ever get the chance and you want to entertain and impress, having Gordon play for you is just about as good as it gets.  And what price can you put on the unforgettable?
You can read the full reviews by David, Sara and Isabella HERE

All that remains is for me to thank you for your continued support of my music and wish you all the very best for a Happy and Healthy 2014 from myself and Hilary

Be well