Fan Reviews

Steeple Aston 14th March 09

Steeple Aston 14th March 09
Was This the Longest-Ever Journey to a Gordon Giltrap Concert?

On Saturday 14th March 2009 it was my pleasure and privilege to act as host and chauffeur to Paul and Lin Lenz as they visited Steeple Aston in Oxfordshire to see Gordon in concert.

So what's so special about that? Only that Paul had travelled from the west coast of Finland specifically for the concert!

Leaving home in the very early hours of Saturday morning, Paul travelled to Helsinki and flew to Heathrow where he met up with his wife, Lin, who'd travelled from Denmark. It was then a coach trip to Oxford where they arrived in late afternoon. After a short rest and some food I met them at 6.30pm to take them to the concert.

Truly appreciative of the compliment made by such an epic journey, Gordon had done everything possible to welcome these very special guests. When we arrived, Hilary Giltrap was waiting for us and after a warm greeting took Paul and Lin through to meet Gordon in his dressing room. Paul explained to Gordon that he'd been a fan of his music for many years.  He was able to show Gordon some videos of his travels in the Far East and the Pacific Islands which were all accompanied by very carefully chosen Gordon Giltrap tracks. The pictures and the music complemented each other perfectly and I don't think Gordon, Hilary or I will ever forget the pictures of an erupting volcano perfectly synchronised to 'Lucifer's Cage'!

And so to the concert… Although we had numbered seats, by a happy coincidence – or had some careful arranging taken place – we were in the middle of the front row. Paul and Lin were captivated by the music and were delighted by Gordon's personal welcome and his dedication of 'Lucifer's Cage' to them. Lin was amazed at the different sounds Gordon is able to bring from his various guitars – 'The Dodo's Dream' was a great hit. Paul was captivated by Gordon's customary musical craftsmanship. All too soon it was time to bid farewell to Gordon and Hilary and make our way back to Oxford. As we drove, Paul shared some of his thoughts about the day with me. At that stage it was 20 hours since he'd left home and tiredness was beginning to kick-in. However, he was delighted with the concert and contrasted the simple setting of one man, his guitars and superb music with the overblown light-shows, video-screens and elaborate sets which can so often be part of concerts today. I left Paul and Lin at their hotel as midnight approached, knowing that in a few hours they'd be on the road, journeying back to Scandinavia!

It was good to meet you Paul and Lin; I know that meeting Gordon and attending a concert was all that you'd hoped it would be. A quick calculation on Google Earth reveals that Paul's round-trip solely to attend one of Gordon's concerts was about 2700 miles! Beat that!

Mike Stranks
Reply from Paul Lenz:

Yes, me and Lin returned home very well. My mind is still filled with all the music and impressions which I received on this evening. Our trip was more than it's money worth and I have only one thing to regret: that my English skills were too poor to understand all of Gordon's jokes during the concert.

So I also understood hardly what he said when he spoke about "God Save The Queen". I was a little bit confused because I could not imagine that this humorous man would play such a serious anthem. Suddenly I got the idea "what about a Jimmy Hendrix version of God Save The Queen?" But immediately I thought: "impossible, that's not his style and he has an acoustic guitar in his hand"... double error! Probably the Queen wouldn't have been amused, but I was!

Well... apart from all what I have in my mind and what are only repeatings of above entries, I have to thank

  • Gordon for his warm welcome, his complete lack of airs and graces, his zero distance between him and the audience, and his attention to my videos
  • Mike for his great organisation of the "backstage" kitchen meeting and our transport
  • Hillary for whizzing around helping everybody with everything
  • all others who would have helped us if Mike haven't been faster
  • last not least Sue for this forum which brought us all together