This month Portsmouth Guildhall celebrates its 125th birthday with a series of events organised by the Portsmouth Cultural Trust. Although the building was virtually destroyed in 1941, it was rebuilt and reopened by The Queen in 1959 and has since become a much-loved music venue playing host to iconic performers such The Beatles and Stones back in the ’60s, through to a great like Joe Satriani today.
It’s just over 2 years ago that Gordon performed to a sell-out audience in the Live Lounge Café and so you can image our delight when the Guildhall 125 events panel announced that Gordon would be performing here again as part of the celebrations. The only downside was that our work commitments might thwart us again (Em had to miss the second half of Gordon’s performance in 2013), but this was truly an event that we couldn’t miss and so managed to make it in the end, although only for the second half.
Well we’re pleased to report that two years later it was more of the same, with a relaxed Gordon enjoying some great banter with an appreciative and respectful audience. It seemed as if he has some good memories of playing here over the years and made mention of a band concert filmed for BBC Sight and Sound on the main stage. Talking of sound, we thought the sound guy did a good job too!
Gordon began his second half with Anji, a piece that always impresses guitarists and non-players alike. At this point it was a measure of the man and a nice touch to mention the influence of those late, great players Davy Graham, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn – long may their music and memory live on.
Apart from Anyone Can Fly, which is the first time we’ve heard this performed solo, the second half consisted of Gordon’s more established pieces including A Dublin Day, The Lords Seat and a sublime version of On Camber Sands. Needless to say a gig consisting of only the second half for us whizzed by and we were soon listening to Heartsong (from Perilous Journey) and the cracking encore of Lucifers Cage (Visionary), complete with eerie start and finish. Was it my imagination, or were there a few subtle changes to LC too? The fact that these pieces of music are always so well-received and hit the spot is testament to their timeless nature and indeed the enduring brilliance of his prog rock trilogy.
So a great night again in Portsmouth for Gordon and nice to see so many of the audience on their feet at the end to show their appreciation. A fitting end to a very fine performance indeed
Posts on this board should be directly about Gordon's concerts. Comments, reviews or questions relating to Gordon's concerts are welcome here.
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