Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5 Oct

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Mike Stranks
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Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5 Oct

Postby Mike Stranks » Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:08 pm

What a night!

An enthusiastic audience greeted the Ravens and Lullabies Band very warmly indeed as they took the stage.

Gordon was probably reassured to see the massed ranks of Giltrapites right at the front of the audience area - no seats here - all sporting their Giltrap tee-shirts.

Others can comment better than I about the audience's perceptions of the event, but from where I was at the side of the stage I could hear the enthusiastic applause, whoops, shouts and sheer appreciation of a crowd that not only remembered Gordon from his Giltrap Band days and the magnificent three albums from that period, but also responded very warmly to the present band and the new material. Of course, any reference to, or playing of, material from that era brought the house down!

Being so close to the band two key things struck me: Firstly, the sheer professionalism and musical chops of them all. Considering that this was in many ways a 'scratch' band with very limited rehearsal time their tightness and delivery was astounding. You'd have thought they'd being playing together for years. Secondly, the sheer respect - and indeed affection - they showed to Gordon. Here were people clearly very accomplished in their own spheres who recognised not only the heritage in which they'd been invited to share, but also someone who can still cut-it with the best of them after almost 40 years in the business.

(It has to be said that they were all exceedingly nice people too. Each of them individually took the trouble to come up and thank me for my own VERY small contribution to the proceedings - effectively 'Mr Shifta'.)

I knew instinctively what the encore would be... a full, album-length, version of Heartsong. I moved position so that I could see Gordon for that one... how would it go? From the first few chords I knew that 'the boy was back in town'. (Of course, all of us reading this know he's never been away....). To hear the full band version with all the old arrangements we all know and love so well with some tasteful new additions brought a glisten to the eye and a lump to the throat of this old codger who's seen and heard so many bands over the years. There was Gordon very much in the driving seat powering the whole band through this iconic piece.

As the music played I was taken back to that time in the late '70s when I was first introduced to Gordon's music... It brought me great pleasure at the time and made me an avid collector of his material. Twenty years later I was introduced to Giltrap Mark 2 and again found music - above all, tunes - that delighted and entranced.

Thank you Gordon for the pleasure and delight you've brought to so many with your music - not just last night, but for 40 years.
The older I get, the better I used to be

Nicky Piercy
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Nicky Piercy » Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:50 pm

What a fabulous night it was at Lydney Town Hall last night. The show was superb, everyone played and sang their hearts out and Gordon as usual was first class.

I loved every minute of it and came away with a real buzz - I'm sure everyone else did also as the Town Hall audience clapped and cheered at every song.

Would love to see it again if you can ever tour the show

Well done to everyone involved. Thanks to the Giltrapites for making me feel so welcome and to Sue for the T Shirt.

Nicky

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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby keithmeredith » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:52 pm

I just knew that this would be an absolute cracker of a gig and I am so disappointed that I couldn't be there - and , it has to be said, green with envy of those that were.

I'm pretty sure that a certain web mistress of our aquaintance would have been on filming duties too...........please. please, please You Tube as soon as possible, Sue.

Best to everyone out there.

Keith.

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Sue
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Sue » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:38 pm

Hi all
Quick posting from my phone.
The gig was fantastic!!!!!!!@!!@

Video was taken but won't know if it's any good for a day or two.

Will post full report asap
Sue
PS anyone with good photos please email them to me . Thanks
GG webmaster

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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby GORDON » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:19 pm

For me this concert was a very special experience ,and to have my Hilary in the audience to witness a performance like none other before was quite emotional for me.

A full in depth report next month.

A big THANKYOU to HILARY, OLIVER, JOHANNE, STEVE, PAUL, NICK, MIKE STRANKS, SUE & MIKE HOLTON, LISA, CRS,AND MANY MORE,Plus our Friends from Poland and Italy for attending. I'm still recovering!!!!

Be well all.

G.

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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Roger USA » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:40 pm

It sounds like it was a fantastic concert!

I was trying to get over to England with my wife to attend another Gordon gig before the end of the year and Sue said this would be the one to see if we could make it. Sue was obviously right, but we just couldn't make our calendar work for an October trip.

All the painstaking, and no doubt stressful, preparations that Gordon referred to in the October news update paid off and I am so pleased for everyone involved.

A very proud moment for Gordon, Oliver and the band and no more than they deserve. I just wish we could have been there.

All the best.

Roger

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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby piotrwargan » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:56 am

Hello from Poland,

I woke up this morning and was not sure: did it really happen or was it just a beautiful dream?!

My camera helped me: films and pictures from Cirencester and then from Lydney: so I was not dreaming.

I will never forget the people I met and the great music I heard.

Thank you THE ARTISTS and THE FANS,

Piotr

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Sue
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Sue » Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:36 pm

For Mike and I the fun started on Friday as we drove to Cirencester to collect Piotr who had come over from Poland. We were able to kick start the weekend with an excellent Gordon / Oliver duo concert to get us in the mood for what was to come and then all head to Gloucester which was our base for the weekend.

Sat morning saw the arrival in Gloucester of Alessandro and Danila from Italy. We all piled into our car and gave them a whistle stop tour of the Forest of Dean / Wye Valley sights on a somewhat extended trip to Lydney for the main event.
Arriving in Lydney we met up with Gordon and Hilary and a group of other friends / fans for some quick refreshment in the pub with Gordon before he headed off next door to set up. Those present were press ganged by myself ( not that they needed much persuasion ! ) into wearing GG T-shirts so that when Gordon looked at the front row of the audience he would see us all supporting him.

The event was over running as there had been three bands on already that afternoon, but as headliners Ravens and Lullabies had the early evening slot. As soon as we were allowed into the hall we all dashed forwards to take up front row positions so as to get the best view for photos, video etc.

This was to be no sedate affair but a 2 hour full on rock gig with a standing audience. The band came on stage to huge cheers complete with a full light show and dry ice. It was a prog rock festival after all, so we were determined to be there, at the front, screaming and cheering for the full 2 hrs if it killed us !

The band kicked off with ‘Moneyfacturing’ and then moved into one of Oliver’s tracks called ‘Don’t Come Running’ before launching into ‘From The Turn Of a Card’ and a speeded up, rocked up ‘Elizabethan Pirates’ – very different from the way it’s played by the duo.

They took the tempo down a little for ‘Anyone Can Fly’ which was followed by ‘Roots’ complete with the Moroccan influenced vocals by Paul at the start.

The other band members except for Gordon and Oliver left the stage for a while and there were then a few quieter numbers including a superb rendition of ‘The Dodo’s Dream’, ‘LJW’, ‘Where Ever There was Beauty’ among 6 or 7 tracks ( a picture of the full set list will be on the photo gallery later)

As band members re-joined the tempo was also slowly increased via a haunting version of ‘Maybe Tomorrow’ then ‘Is This the Last Song’ building up to ‘Credit Carnival’ and then another couple of rocking numbers to finish the set.

By this time we were all pretty much hoarse from all the cheering but there was no way we were letting the guys off stage without an encore, and what an encore it was. The first full length performance of the album version of ‘Heartsong’ played live by a full band for roughly 30 years !!

At this point a good many of us were in tears ( yep, mad I know) and the applause and cheers seemed to go on for ever. One look around at all the huge grins on the faces of those watching confirmed just how special this had been.

Our Italian friend Alessandro had been waiting 35 years to see Gordon play and was pretty much floating on air having had his dream come true in such style.

Phil Werninck was designated as official photographer for the night and has some fantastic shots which I’ll put online as soon as I can, in the meantime here is one to whet your appetite. Video will take a little longer to process but I’m working on it !!

Image

The organisers then needed to reset the stage for the final act of the night but everyone wanted to talk to Gordon, Oliver and the guys so they almost had to force the crowd back down the hall.

Everyone present including people who had never seen / heard of Gordon or the Ravens and Lullabies album were just blown away. It seemed impossible to believe that this was their first and possibly only ever performance together. All the band members were superb and you would think they had been playing together for years.

Thanks to everyone, Gordon, Oliver and the band of course but to everyone else with whom we spent time during such an enjoyable long weekend - Hilary, Alessandro, Danila, Piotr, Geoff, Cath, Tim, Claire, Nicky, Phil, Mike, and numerous others.

How to follow that ? Only one way of course……. Do it again !! PLEASE !!!!

Sue
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Roger
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Roger » Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:55 pm

We're so pleased that the gig went so well :D , but obviously very disappointed that we couldn't be there :( (we'd booked our Autumn holiday before the date was announced - at least the weather was good!). Just keeping our fingers crossed that this may happen again sometime somewhere!

Best to all,

Roger & Em x
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alessandro64
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby alessandro64 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:48 am

If a person in my conditions should choose between posting a comment that could properly express what he experienced and having to await till his pc is repaired, surely he would have to face an unbearable anxiety...so I've chosen the first chance heartily trusting you all will forgive my ortographical mistakes (if any... :-) ).
But THAT's the matter!
How could someone in my conditions explain what a 35 years' waiting to see, listen to and mainly KNOW and share words, time, laughs and hugs with one of the most beloved musical heroes EVER?
Which words could effectively describe the planet (basically close to Earth, sure, but parallel to it) I was living in those uncomparable moments?
I must have behaved like a child, that's for sure... but do not children have the gift of sincerity in getting excited and thrilled?
So that's how I felt!
Words, smiles, hands beating in-time and off-time, no matter when, have been what was lacking to make the picture of an absolutely fantastic music, which until now has been the main witness of the existance of such a great and incredible man such as Gordon (as I knew Hillary I found out one of the sources of the secret of his loveliness..), perfect!! Now the picture needs only the refreshing, year by year, as soon I'll be able to, and no doubt I will be there!!

Gordon, Hillary, Sue, Mike, Danila....you made my dream come true!
Piotr and all the others....you were there with me!
My heart beats with yours and will never cease...

The greatest THANKS for this!
Love to you all!
Alessandro :-)

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alessandro64
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby alessandro64 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:00 pm

Anyway, consider my previous words as a prologue.... the attempted descriptions of my stream of emotions will arrive soon.....if the pc technicians will allow so...! :-)
Love
Alessandro

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Sue
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Sue » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:18 pm

keithmeredith wrote:I just knew that this would be an absolute cracker of a gig and I am so disappointed that I couldn't be there - and , it has to be said, green with envy of those that were.

I'm pretty sure that a certain web mistress of our aquaintance would have been on filming duties too...........please. please, please You Tube as soon as possible, Sue.

Best to everyone out there.

Keith.


Just for you Keith, as requested, shame you couldn't be there, we missed you,

http://youtu.be/iu9nlHK2lCY

Enjoy !

Sue
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keithmeredith
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby keithmeredith » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:56 pm

Thank you so much, Sue.

Words really do fail me - in fact, having watched your video recording and hearing that final rendition of Heartsong - I came over a little emotional. What a gig, what a performance, what consumate professionals - and what joy on the face of that young fellow on the left surrounded by guitars.

A scatch band? Not from my - unfortunately distant - viewpoint.

A hearty 'well done' to everyone involved in this exceptional production - but especially "the boys in the band.'

Encore. Please.

Keith

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Roger
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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Roger » Thu Oct 10, 2013 12:02 am

Sue I can only echo Keith's words - thank you so much :D

A brilliant performance by all on stage - perhaps this band might have a future together?

I'm a bit reluctant to single out anyone for their performance (other than our hero Mr G of course!), but there's a saying that a band is only as good as it's drummer - as on the CD super work from Johanne James :D
If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.

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Re: Ravens and Lullabies - Summers End Festival - Lydney - 5

Postby Mike Stranks » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:29 am

Roger wrote:Sue I can only echo Keith's words - thank you so much :D

A brilliant performance by all on stage - perhaps this band might have a future together?

I'm a bit reluctant to single out anyone for their performance (other than our hero Mr G of course!), but there's a saying that a band is only as good as it's drummer - as on the CD super work from Johanne James :D

Absolutely agree Roger - on everything!

I was right next to Johanne during the final stages of set-up and then sound-check. He was absolutely meticulous in the set-up with careful tuning of the kit - always a good sign! In sound-check he knew exactly what he wanted in his monitor - always a good sign when a drummer wants to HEAR the rest of the band! During the set he was constantly tweaking the tuning and did thoughtful stuff like disengaging the snare when he wasn't playing to reduce the sympathetic resonance.

Such was the calibre of this truly excellent band!
The older I get, the better I used to be


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