Gordon Giltrap, one of the UK’s most respected guitarists, is looking forward to a date at this year’s Festival of Chichester, with a gig at St John’s Chapel, St John’s Street on Thursday, June 22 at 8pm.
“I love to play the pieces that I feel comfortable playing, and there are a few that people will expect. “It is not like I have had a string of hits, but there are a couple like Heartsong that seem to be people’s favourites, and people do seem to like to hear Dodo’s Dream.” Gordon cut his teeth in the business back in the 60s. “You look back in wonder really. You think ‘Did that really happen?’ We were privileged to be part of a great golden age of playing music and a great golden age of the acoustic guitar. There were so many people that were playing it.” Gordon looks back fondly on contemporaries including Mike Oldfield and John Martyn. “I think it was a time when everything was up for grabs. There were no rules, and the rules were meant to be broken. There was no snobbishness, and the record business was just amazing. If you signed up with a label, they would stay with you for three albums. “And those were the days of vinyl. I am delighted to report that my latest album (which came out earlier this year) is being released on vinyl on July 18. The Last of England. The music is very special to me. The music is very spiritual. It is the finest album I have ever made.” It is also an album he didn’t think he would make. “During the last two years, I have suffered with ill health. I am fine now, I am delighted to say, but when you are going through a health crisis, the last thing you think about is doing albums. “When you are facing the possibility of your own mortality, it opens your eyes, and I would sit in my music room and have no desire to pick up any of my guitars at all. You find yourself at a very low ebb physically and mentally. “But I am fine now, and that’s the reason I am back treading the boards again. In terms of gigging, I was away from it from the end of 2015 until relatively recently. “You feel all sorts of things for all sorts of reasons, but the biggest one is gratefulness for the privilege to still be here. It just makes you feel grateful to be alive and for the fact that I am in a business that hopefully brings people pleasure. “It has changed me, and it has changed me forever. I will never be the same again, and in some ways that can be good. “ You start focusing on what is important. Money is not important. Good health is important; family is important; living is important; enjoying the moment is important, and what is important to me now as a musician is that I am still teaching myself what each piece means…” For Chichester, Gordon will be joined by special guest support Carrie Martin, an acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter from Hull in Yorkshire. Having given up music to raise a family she returned to writing, playing and singing encouraged by Gordon. She cites meeting Gordon as the most important thing that has happened to her in her musical career. Her new album, What If, signed by Trapeze Music, features Carrie on guitar and vocals, with guest appearances from Gordon Giltrap, Oliver Wakeman and Ric Sanders. Tickets are available from Chichester Box Office, The Novium, Tower Street, Chichester, PO19 1QH; phone 01243 816525 or 775888.
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