General News

May 2024 News Update

The Starlings cover

May 2024 News Update

I usually start each of my monthly news letters saying that it will be quite a short one this month as its fairly quiet at the moment but when I look through my diary I find quite a few things that may be of interest and I hope this month's offering will be the same so here goes.

Giltrap and Hat – New release out now

The Starlings

It has been my pleasure over the past few years to contribute my guitar work to my friend Nigel Bates lovely songs. It’s hard to believe it has taken all this time to complete the album but it has grown in a lovely organic way. The journey has in many ways has been quite emotional bearing in mind that much of the work was done whilst my Hilary was still here.

Throughout that time, I had the pleasure of working with special guests Susy Wall, Carrie Martin and Rachel from Nigel's band. The whole thing was engineered by Nigel's amazing son and bass player Perry without whom.... I have asked Nigel, Carrie and Susy to share some of their memories of the sessions in Nigel's garden studio.

The album will be released on all the digital platforms through Mirror Noir and should be available on download by April 19th, and there are plans for a CD release later this year but more of that later.

Streaming link:

Website Link:

Carrie writes: It’s always an honour to be asked to be a part of another musicians work. I was thrilled to do the main vocal on ‘Stop the Clock’, an intriguing song about time, the lyrics really do make you stop and think. I also did some backing vocals on another track and if I had to sum up my time at Nigel’s studio that day, I would have just two words, ‘Great Fun’ . Thanks for the invite, Nigel and Gordon

Susy writes: I absolutely loved singing on Nigel’s gorgeous tracks for the album, The Starlings. It felt like such a privilege to be part of the recording process and to spend time with the lovely Nigel and Gordon in Nigel’s garden studio The songs are beautiful and such a joy to sing… Nigel has a way or writing that conveys so many different emotions. An absolute thrill to be part of something so glorious.

Discussion Forum

Sadly we have had to close down the discussion forum as it was under repeated cyber attack and the amount of traffic risked overwhelming the servers. In view of the limited amount of user postings over the last year or so we decided to pull the plug completely. Apologies if this was a feature of the site that you enjoyed. The end of an era. You can of course interact with Gordon via Facebook or using the contact form on the website.


My postings on FB are few and far between at times and I only in the main post music related stuff and last month I dedicated a few deep thoughts on my dear late friend Bert Jansch, so for all you non Facebook people here it is...

"When sadness fills your heart,and sorrow hides the longing to be free." These are the first lines of the song, "Needle of Death" written by my friend the late great Bert Jansch. It's no wonder that his first album produced by the legendary Bill Leader changed my life and the lives of many aspiring guitarist /singer/songwriters back in the day.

It was only the second album I had ever bought,the first one being "With the Beatles." Bert was a force of nature and the music he created way back then along with John Renbourn has never been bettered. I miss them both beyond words.

Old Jacket

Whilst rummaging through my loft recently I came across this jacket that I'm wearing in the above picture with my dear late friend Bert Jansch.

Anyhoo, I decided to get it down to see if it still fitted and low and behold it did!

So after a quick spin in the washing machine and a careful iron courtesy of my dear friend Susan I put it on for a little snap to share with you.

I always loved this Tyrolean jacket bought from a pre loved clothes shop in Stratford upon Avon many years ago. I loved the shop and bought many of my garish and outlandish stage shirts there. I have never seen another one like it. Of course it has faded over the years much like it's current wearer but is still a superbly made thing. I may start wearing it again one never knows.

My birthday

When birthdays come around I find it's a time for reflection and if one isn't careful one could easily sink into depression remembering all the loved ones who shared your birthday with you and are now no longer with us.

I turned 76 on April 6th and I'm pleased to say I had a lovely time sharing it with special and dear friends Mark and Jane Day and a dear friend from 36 years ago.

The morning was spent at Mitchell's Arts and Crafts Centre in Sutton Coldfield which was the venue that was chosen in July 22 to launch the Scattered Chapters project but this time it was to attend the launch of a great new creation by the renowned ceramicist Blandine Anderson. Blandine was one of the chosen artists to contribute some of her pieces to the Scattered Chapters project one of which Starfield was purchased by Mark and Jane.

Blandine's creation took the form of a beautiful piece to accompany a book that she wrote during lockdown presented in a stunning handmade wooden case. I took a photograph of us together although Blandine did say that she wasn't comfortable being photographed which is evidenced in this pic but no matter, she is a beautiful person and a joy to have met. Needless to say I just had to purchase one of the limited edition copies and shall include that in this month's letter.

What a lovely start to my birthday finished off nicely in the evening with a superb stir-fry. A huge thanks for all my cards and lovely messages on Facebook.

Mark writes:

Jane and I first became aware of renowned ceramicist and artist Blandine Anderson through our involvement in Gordon's Scattered Chapters project, the collection of beautifully crafted music, written word and accompanying artworks from various artists inspired by the music.

One specific piece, "Starfield", resonated so much from the very first time we heard Gordon play this to us, we couldn't wait to see what work it would inspire. Whilst working on the video "The Making of Scattered Chapters", we saw the first glimpse of the wonderful pieces of artwork created by the artists and the first sight of Blandine's Ceramic "Starfield".

It wasn't until the 23rd July 2022 Scattered Chapters launch at Nigel Bate's Artifex Gallery, that we were able to cast our eyes on this truly remarkable work of art. Needless to say it now resides in our home where we gaze upon and touch this captivating wonder every day!

Jump forward to Saturday 6th April 2024 - Gordon's birthday and, by strange coincidence, the Exhibition & Book Launch of Blandine Anderson - "Both Sides" a collection of new ceramics and book, once again hosted by Nigel at Artifex. A project that was three years in the making, the book is illustrated by a collection of Blandine's latest ceramic works depicting alternative interpretations of opposing themes. A personal account of the highs and lows experienced by the natural world and farm inhabitants, on Blandine's wildlife friendly small holding, over the course of a year.

The book itself is available as a hardback, or, 25 limited presentation editions in hardback 22x22cm square, dark blue book-cloth cover with silver foil embossed title, each contains a handmade numbered ceramic tile presented in a beautiful Oak Box also numbered.

It was the perfect opportunity to spend time with our dear friend Gordon on his birthday, catch up with Nigel and, for us all to experience the many new pieces of ceramics, paintings and sketches created for this project and to speak with this truly talented lady.

It was an incredibly wonderful and memorable day, getting to know Blandine and gain a personal insight into her methods and inspirations in creating these astonishing works of art. We came away with a signed presentation edition #16 (for the day in April of our wedding anniversary) and will collect the Tawny Owl piece “Night And Day” and the lovely little Wood Pigeon that we couldn't leave behind from Artifex at the end of the exhibition.

You can view all of Blandine's exhibition ceramics and the Both Sides book on the Artifex website

Blandine's Website

Giltrap Etheridge 2 Parts Guitar tour

Well, May is now upon us and the tour with my dear friend the great John Etheridge is about to start. Full details of aa the dates are on the website HERE. The London gig at The Pheasantry in Chelsea has sold out and the other tickets are selling fast.

I just love working with John as he's so much fun to be with and we shall be featuring some unique material together and our brief one day rehearsal went well.... we don't believe in too much preparation and like the spontaneity of the live show!!!

This 10 date tour is going to be a really unique one because this time round my dear friend Mark Guyatt is tour managing my part of the affair and our accomodation is going to be pretty unique!

I have asked Mark to include a photograph of the thing of wonder and beauty that he will be towing around the country during this merry month along with a few chosen words from the man himself.

Mark writes: “The Troubadour was the first guitar sheet music book I bought after attending a G.G. gig in a small church in Shilton. Who would have thought I would get so much joy from learning to play those tunes and that now several years later I would be out on the road with the Travelling Troubador himself! A favourite of Hollywood A listers whilst on set and home for returning Astronauts, I’m looking forward to sharing this time on the road with Gordon in our travel trailer."

Guitars news

I'm still contemplating parting with a few more guitars. I have yet to decide which ones but when I have they will be available and presented in a way that's truly worthy of them... Watch this space!!

You may remember me telling you about this stunning Mick Johnson archtop a few months back. Mick had kindly loaned it to me and a few weeks back he told me he was selling it for a figure I couldn't refuse.. I am now it's current owner...What am I like ???