General News

Nov 2022 News Update

Gordon Giltrap on stage with Clive Carroll

I had a wonderful but very hectic week leading up to Geoff Olner and myself driving up to the far north of Scotland to attend the Ullapool Guitar Festival. Although we were visitors I was privileged enough to conduct two morning workshops. I can’t believe it was 12 years ago when Hilary and I attended the festival when I was an official guest.

This time it was a decision to attend just as punters because it had always been a dream of Geoff’s to “experience” the festival. I rang Richard the organiser to see if he could arrange two tickets this he kindly did and of course found a space for me to conduct those workshops which I thoroughly enjoyed and made some new friends in doing so.

It was just wonderful to see old friends and make new ones. The highlight of the festival apart from hearing world class guitar playing was to get to know the great Hugh Burns session guitarist extraordinaire and for him to join me on my piece Down the River, also to perform Maddie Goes West with Clive Carroll and to witness his wonderful set. The man just gets better and better by the year as does Tristan Seume, Will McNicol and John Smith along with old friend John Goldie. I made two appearance at the open mike sessions after the concerts were over which were well received and good old Heartsong still manages to bring a smile!

How my dear friend Roger Bucknall who is a major contributor to the festival continues to produce so many outstanding FYLDE guitars each year is beyond me. He and Moira are two of my favourite people.

Above: Rosie Heydenrych of Turnstone Guitars, Tristan Seume, Roger Bucknall, Alex and Paul of Fylde Guitars

My thanks to Richard for providing the tickets, but a special thanks to my beloved Hilary for supporting the idea of making Geoff’s dream come true. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t travel that far these days to perform.

I hope this festival continues because it really is a jewel of an event.

Here are a selection of photos to give you a flavour of the weekend. Your can read more and see various photos / videos from the event in the latest Fylde Newsletter HERE

Left: Clive Carroll, Moi, Tristan Seume

Right: Tristan Seume, Antonio Forcione

Below: In the Cafe

Above: With the great Hugh Burns

Right: Jamming with Jule Malischke

Scattered Chapters reviews and news

An update with the promotion of Scattered Chapters. So far I have done an interview with Guitarist magazine, Classic Rock meets Prog ( a news item in last month issue and a full length interview planned for next month)

There are a few more in the pipeline and will keep you posted.

Getting a bit of airplay on Scala Radio thanks to my dear friend Iain Carnegie’s daughter Holly who works for the station… Thankyou Holly for helping to make it happen.

What a thrill it was to hear One for Billie on Scala Radio this evening on The Space programme. Tune in folks, they have promised to play more tracks from Scattered Chapters over the next few weeks.

Such a sweet news item in Prog magazine this month and another online at Music

Gordon Giltrap & Paul Ward - Music News |

I’m very pleased to see these reviews of the new album. The album along with the book has somehow had a profound effect on people who have copies of both. A perfect companion to the album and dare I say it a great gift… There I have said it?

What a thrill it was to hear 'One for Billie' on Scala Radio this evening on The Space programme. Thankyou Holly Carnegie for helping to make it happen. Tune in folks, they have promised to play more tracks from Scattered Chapters over the next few weeks.

Paul and I feel that The Melody Weavers Son would make a wonderful animated film so will be pursuing that one. If anyone reading this know of a company that wants to come on board do let us know.

Sharrington Village Hall

On the 22nd of last month I played for a very appreciative audience at Sharrington Village hall in Norfolk. This was my third appearance in this beautiful Norfolk village thanks to my friend Chris Abrams who has invited me back over the past five years. He and his lovely other half Annie always spoil Hilary and I rotten whenever we stay.

Over the years some very fine artists have graced Sharrington village halls stage including Chris Simpson (he of Magna Carta fame) and that brilliant guitarist Ken Nicol and because of Covid the legendary Strawbs have had to be re scheduled. Last year Carrie Martin and Edwina Hayes did a joint evening. It’s amazing how this little known Norfolk village has been able to attract such a vast array of talent.

The evening was a bit special for me because one of my late son’s closest friends Joanna Carle was in the audience and she hadn’t see me in concert before. I’m delighted to say she enjoyed it.

Photo by Gary Bishop

Here’s a link to a little performance that my friend Chris Abrams filmed whilst staying at his home during the weekend of the Sharrington Village Hall concert last month.

The FYLDE guitar I’m playing is the one that Chris bought from me a while back and Roger Bucknall loving restored. He also has film of that fine guitarist Ken Nicol playing it.

This guitar was a huge part of my early history and was used mainly on my Fear of the Dark and The Peacock Party albums. Sadly it fell apart on me because of its very light construction to work with the ultra-light strings I used at time and was restored by a fine luthier call Phil Vigor who did a fine job but it wasn’t the guitar it was and it took Chris Abrams the time and effort to get it to Rog who (in between his other work) put a completely new top on it which brought it back to its original FYLDE sound.

At the time of the guitar's demise my dear friend Roger was going through huge changes in his life and due to circumstances wasn't able to restore his early instruments and certainly not to the degree that this one desperately needed. Even now because of his workload I’m astonished that he managed it at all.

It was a similar story to the very first 12 string he made which he did eventually fully restore and which I am now the grateful owner which was kindly returned to me from (once again) the previous owner who bought it from me in a sad condition and eventually the great man worked his magic on it!

The Chris Abrams guitar is now a fabulous sounding instrument and I used it on stage at the Sharrington concert. For a number of years before it’s restoration it was on loan to my friend the horror writer James Herbert who kept it by his writing desk and had the occasional strum on it whilst penning his latest novel until his death in 2013.

When it was originally restored by the aforementioned Mr Vigor I kept the original front which eventuality was sent to Roger to remind him of its construction. He then went on to make another object of sound and beauty that was used for a number of years and which I eventually sold to Nick Hooper of Harry Potter fame, who regards it as the finest guitar he has ever owned and uses all the time. I must point out that Roger had already made me a similar guitar so it was daft having one not being used and it has indeed gone to a good home!

Going back to the very early FYLDE owned by Chris (keep up I shall be asking questions later) this very guitar inspired Sir Cliff to have one made which he used for many years. I have no knowledge of its whereabouts but would love to see that guitar again. There are quite a few pics of him playing it in the Cliff archives!

Phew what a long history I hear you cry! So there you have it, a beautiful guitar with a long history going back to approximately 1978. Here are a few pictures of its early history.

Thanks again to Chris and Annie for hosting us. Long may it continue

From the archives

With the late Del Newman and daughter Delphi at the Savoy for the BASCA's 42nd year back in 2015

Bert Jansch Music

So there we were, Hilary and I in our favourite Help the Aged charity shop in Woodhall Spa and there in between music of Songs from the Shows I uncover this, for the price of £1. What are the chances ?

It's a VERY rare publication. I posted the find on Facebook.I couldn’t believe the number of responses several hundred. One friend said that he saw a copy going for £38 on EBay!

Just goes to show the power of Bert’s legacy.

Someone said I was drawn to it and I think they were right!

Be well dear friends.