Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gigspanner Did It Again

I'm not at all sure that I can produce a review for last Friday's gig at Maker with Rame Community Hall by Peter Knight's Gigspanner without repeating myself from previous efforts. This was the fifth concert at the venue for the guys, and the fourth that Mrs The Millbrooker and I have been to. (We missed the November CD launch by dint of being on a cruise around the Canaries). I'll have a try anyway.

It was also the first that I didn't take a camera along to, so we'll have to make do with a couple of library shots; the band hasn't changed much in appearance, though, so I don't think it'll make too much difference.
The evening began after the buffet dinner at Milbrooker Towers with a walk up to The Rising Sun in Kingsand for a pre-concert pint of Heligan Honey. The party met up outside the pub and ticket distributing got done along with last minute ticket money collecting.

We met Peter, Roger and Debs briefly en-route to the pub and said our "hellos", Vincent was pottering around inside the hall at the time.

Soon enough it was door opening time and in we trooped; Debs had very kindly reserved a couple of seats at the front for Mrs The Millbrooker and me. Thank you, Debs, you have no idea how much it helps to be able to see a show properly, which I simply can't do from very far away; I really appreciate it.The first half opened with the delightful Butterfly (which you can hear on their MySpace page along with Sharpe Goes Walkabout and Rolling Down The Bourne). We learnt from Peter's preamble that it's a slip jig which should, if my research is correct, mean that it's in 9/8 time. After that I get a bit lost as to what was played when, I meant to ask for a copy of the set list but completely forgot in all the excitement.

If the first half was well on form, the second took off into the stratosphere with each of the band sparking off one another in ludicrously "out there" pieces of (I guess) semi-improvised tangents.

Their rendition of The Water Carrier was something very special indeed; mastery in action. Peter taking his instrument to places where fiddles don't often go and then finding his way back into the theme before Roger built on his solid-as-a-rock rhythm playing to also explore the edges of melody. Vincent took his turn, driving his percussion as a lead instrument whilst Peter and Roger kept the rhythm throbbing underneath. What a treat.From the massively complex Water Carrier to the beautifully simple and affecting blues of Sitting on Top of the World, no one should be any doubt that Gigspanner can deliver and in spades.

If you decided not to go to this one, have a think about next year's (I think they're coming back again - they seem to like our little corner of the world).

After the gig, some of us descended on the Halfway Inn in Kingsand/Cawsand for a late night drop of ale. Here's Dorothy and Arbuthnot doing late drinking.
Dorothy probably has only a moderate grasp of how musical instruments work. She asked Roger if his guitar was acoustic or electric and he explained it's composition included an electric pickup. Dorothy proudly displayed her new found knowledge to the world, explaining to all who would listen about Roger's electric hiccup. Oh dear.

Also amongst the late night revellers were Dong and The High Lord of Southwick; BathNick is just out of shot.And also, of course, some wildly overweight bloke with a white stick who demanded a photo opportunity with the band. (L-R Me, Roger Flack, Peter Knight, Vincent "Cool Hat" Salzfaas).After the pub, there was even more late night imbibing back at Millbrooker Towers. The two Gigspannerers who stayed with us were excellent company, one of them remaining mostly coherent through an heroic quantity of 10 year old tawny port. There much talking of bollocks until 4ish when even the drinking machine that is Roger Flack decided it was time for bed.

Thank for coming this way, guys. Do keep coming back!

There's not many further Gigspanner dates this year; Mr K's busy doing all the other stuff that he gets up to (there's a Steeleye Span tour of Australia coming up amongst other things) but there is one not too far away from these shores:

Friday 16th October 2009

Appearing at
Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre

Last train back from Taunton is at 22:39 (this might change - don't hold me to it) which makes a day out including seeing the groovy Gigspanner boys in concert a distinct possibility. Anyone else up for it?

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