General News

July 2013 News Update

July 2013 News Update
Gordon Giltrap Guitars.Com

My brand new guitar site dedicated specifically to being a shop window for my”pre-loved” guitars and all things related to products that I endorse or am connected with is now “officially” up and running!

The site pretty much speaks for itself, so I urge you if you are a guitar nut like me to come and visit us at

We shall be adding instruments at regular intervals, and if you have guitars that you no longer play and wish to sell them at a price that they are worth and NOT go down the E-Bay route then it will be our pleasure to sell them for you.

Gordon Giltrap & Oliver Wakeman
October / November 2013 Ravens and Lullabies Tour Dates


3rd...  Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
4th…  Sun Dial Theatre, Cirencester
5th...  Summers End Festival, Lydney ( The ONLY gig with FULL ELECTRIC BAND )
9th…  West End Centre, Aldershot
11th... Regal Theatre, Tenbury Wells
12th… Palace Theatre, Redditch
15th… Village Hall, Walberton
17th… Brook Theatre, Chatham
20th… Greystones, Sheffield
25th… Capitol Theatre, Horsham
30th… The Musician, Leicester
31st… Terry O Toole Theatre, Lincoln


7th...    Komedia, Bath - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
8th...   Islington Assembly Hall, London  - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
9th...   Stables,  Milton Keynes - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
10th...  The Robin 2   Bilston  - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
12th... Forest Arts Centre, New Milton
16th... Picturedrome, Holmfirth -  Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
21st... Junction, Cambridge  - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
22nd... The Brook, Southampton  - Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest
23rd... Tavistock Wharf, Tavistock -  Guests of John Lees' Barclay James Harvest

Wyres Strings
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Wyres Strings are proud to announce two brand new Gordon Giltrap signature sets for 6 and 12 string, orders now being taken via
Hinesite Distribution Limited  01634 241213

My signature guitar strings with the wonderful Wyres Company of Canada are out on the market now. The artwork is based on a portrait by Jan Leytham Gain for the As it Happens album of a few years back and looks great.  A great product and nice people to deal with. The best of both worlds!

In fact I’ve just heard that the company has already had its first order for 200 sets !

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New Fylde Book

I have been asked by my good friend Roger Bucknall of FYLDE GUITARS, to write the foreword for a new book he writing on the company. Needless to say I’m honoured to do this for an old and valued friend, and someone who is regarded worldwide as one of the great guitar makers alive today. Apparently because the book is still at the planning stage there is no rush for it, but I shall let you know when publication day comes along.

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John Etheridge at GPP Studios

On the 18th of last month, my old friend and legend John Etheridge came to visit the GPP studios to film an interview and play two pieces for us. John was on great form as ever and played superbly. His contribution will be seen on YOUTUBE in due course along with all our other contributors.

Gigs Of Note

PMT - H Clamp Launch,
May 30th & June 1st

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The “official” launch for my signature GG H CLAMP and Vintage deluxe acoustic guitar at Birmingham’s PMT  store was a joyful intimate evening...which means that not a lot of folk turned up BUT, it was still a lovely evening with a warm atmosphere. Our appearance on the Saturday was “quiet” but fun. The main thing to come out of both days was the fact the store’s charismatic manager and my good friend Garry Chapman loves both products and plans to stock them at the Brum store and then hopefully all other branches throughout the UK. Rob Atchison of ExplorAudio and I thank him for working so hard to make the event the best it could be.

Packington Memorial Hall, June 8th

My fund raising concert for Joan Inchley in memory of her late husband Mike was a great success, with a sell out concert and over £2200 being raised to purchase defibrillators for the local hospital. My thanks go to Joan and all the volunteers who worked SO hard to make this concert such a success. A REALLY special thanks must go to Mike Stranks for providing his lovely sound system FOC on the night.

JHS Event

This is not a public event, but is worth mentioning because of all the fantastic performers who appear each year who play so superbly for invited dealers and retailers of product that the company are involved in.

I was there of course to launch my brand new Vintage GG deluxe signature acoustic, which still astonishes me with its sound, beauty and outstanding value for money. This isn’t a sales pitch I promise you, but these guitars really are special. My particular guitar features solid cedar top, solid rosewood back, ebony fingerboard, superb plush lined fitted case with crocodile skin pattern. The whole package comes with a Fishman Rare Earth pickup which alone would set you back over £250.The retail price is around the £699 mark but most places are doing them for about £620! Amazing!

Anyway, just to reel off a few names who were playing over the three day event were.. Jerry Donahue, Doug Morter, Ray Burley, John Etheridge, Geoff Whitehorn, Ray Jackson, John Verity, Saxon, Thomas Blug, Lee Hodgson, Elliot Randall and many more.

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I love EVENT! For me it is just paradise to spend time around great guitars, and great guitar playing friends. Whilst there a little bird told me that Nick Kershaw was seen onstage at a major London venue recently playing a Vintage GG 2000 signature acoustic. Dreams are made of this!

Landmark Trust Arts Centre Teddington, June 18th

It’s always great to hook up with my friend the legendary blues man Woody Mann, and to share a stage with him is a double pleasure. The Landmark Trust venue is a beautiful church in Teddington. Woody and I played separate sets and then joined forces for our impromptu set together.

Even though I don’t regard my improvisational skills that highly I always enjoy giving it a go with Woody, and the audience appeared to enjoy it also. In the audience that evening were friends Irena Foster Brown and skiffle legend Chas Mc Devitt.

Cheddar, June 22nd

This concert could have been a technical disaster because Mike the sound man turned up expecting there to be all the equipment the venue had promised, only to find this wasn’t the case. After an hour of trying to find the right leads, he decided to go home and get his own. Once this had been sorted all went swimmingly well with a great audience and super volunteers along with Gillian the organiser making this a cracking evening. Friends Rob and Karen Atchison turned up along with our other good friend Ian Miles.

Gillian was so pleased with it all she is seriously thinking about organising a private concert in the near future. Bring it on please.

This lovely email was sent to my agent Sue Webster after the gig.

Just to say Sue that Cheddar Arts had a terrific night last Saturday. Thank you so much for organising the booking of Gordon to come to the Kings Theatre.

What a musician...what a raconteur...What a NICE guy. I am still getting phone calls about what a lovely evening it was.

However.....we must pay the PIPER! Please send us an invoice & I will set the wheels in motion for the payment of his fee for the agreed amount.

I think Hilary was quite pleased with the merchandising sales as well. Winners all round. He says he wants to come back... so maybe sometime in the future the roof of The Kings Theatre will be ringing with that wonderful sound again. Please pass on these comments.

Thanks Gill Scard.

Portsmouth, June 25th

What a great night was had at the Music Lounge at Portsmouth's Guildhall. It was pretty much a sell out cabaret style concert with friends old and new attending along with my old friend and drummer Dave Barfield and his lovely wife Trish.

Dave was my drummer during the Perilous Journey period just prior to Heartsong taking off. You can see Dave on the Top of the Pops clip that is occasionally shown on the Beeb. Our friends Roger and Em Drew were our hosts for the evening so a big THANKYOU to them for putting us up in their Southsea home after the show.

On the evening I used for the first time, my new GG2000 which has replaced my rather worn out original, and also my new Vintage travel guitar, ( you can read more about this below ) which although a REALLY inexpensive guitar sounds fine on pieces that I usually play on the Baby guitar like Lords Seat, Mrs Singer, Here comes the Sun etc. I have decided to retire the Armstrong baby guitar after playing it solidly for over 20 years!

Thanks to Alan Cooper for this great review.
by Alan Cooper

Fingers a blur, Gordon Giltrap makes strings sing as chords chime and harmonics ring out in a blissful whirl of melody and rhythm.

The acoustic guitar legend was perfectly suited to the Live Lounge format at the Guildhall, with cabaret-style seating and waiter service. His genial charm quickly endeared him to the appreciative audience as he began with the delightful Shining Morn, quickly followed by Here Comes The Sun played in his own, inimitably embellished style.

That style is classically centred but with a rock twist and Renaissance, even baroque, influences that had the room entranced.

Since his Top of the Pops heyday with Heartsong in the mid-1970s, he has ploughed his own musical furrow, constantly playing live, writing his own compositions and recording.

He told the audience: “I have never enjoyed playing as much as I do now” And it shows.

For each number he would choose from one of four guitars, each with different attributes.

His only electric number was the multi-layered Dodo’s Dream, creating digital loops and building the track into a one-man orchestral production - awesome to watch and listen to.

Each number was as impressive, with Heartsong, the penultimate number, still a tour-de-force of energy and vitality. GG by name, guitar genius by nature.

Radio 2 Bob Harris Show

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On Monday June 17th I travelled down to London by train to record a session with Oliver Wakeman and Paul Manzi for Bob Harris. The day before we rehearsed in our favourite rehearsal venue in the Church of St Michael in Bishop’s Itchington kindly made available to us by good friend Martin Green.

It is always a joy to see Bob Harris, and he and I of course go back many years with those halcyon days of the Old Grey Whistle Test. The show is pretty much recorded live in the relatively small Radio 2 studios in Gildea street just round the corner from Langham Place’s famous art deco building that we all know and love.

We chose two instrumentals from the Ravens and Lullabies album and one song. Oliver’s LJW, and Fiona’s Smile from my repertoire, and for the vocal we decided on Ravens will Fly. It’s always difficult to try and get perfection in a one take situation like this, and the first attempt at LJW was a bit shaky, and we were able to record it again at the end of the session. There were one or two “moments” throughout the session, but all in all I think we captured a wee bit of magic on the day, made just this bit special by having the superb voice of Paul Manzi with us. Marc the producer said it was “beautiful”  in his e-mail to me a few days later. I shall let you know the day of broadcast nearer the time, but it will most probably be late August early September.

Bob said he enjoyed it and even Tweeted about it and included a photograph that was taken in reception!

Malcolm Dome

I mentioned the re releases of the classic three albums from the 70’s last time. Well, things are going well with Oliver redesigning the artwork and that great writer Malcolm Dome contributing text taken from two phone interviews. It really is a joy being interviewed by Malcolm who is genuinely interested in the music and somehow asks all the right questions. Once again, I shall give you the release dates as soon as I know along with the bonus track titles.
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Guitar Of The Month

This is a rather quirky and interesting one! This Vintage VTG 100N Travel guitar has been in the JHS catalogue for some time now, and I have always been of the opinion that with a little bit of a set up along with the right strings and a Fishman pick up, this little “cheapie” could sound really sweet, and be a possible replacement for my tired old Armstrong Baby Guitar.

Well, I was right! It does indeed sound sweet, and although I can’t tune it as high as the Baby, it does have that bright chiming lute like quality of the Baby. I fired it up in time for the JHS EVENT, and used it on pretty much all of the pieces I have been playing on the Baby all these years.

Now it’s time to pension off the old girl and move ahead (for the time being) with the 100N. I may even try and get another one and convert it to an Appalachian Dreaming guitar!!

Future Concerts

As I type this I have two more concerts to play before the end of the month, Preston and Dent. If time doesn't allow I shall report on them for next month.

Here comes summer!!!