4Parts Guitar - Grantham - 16 /4 /2015

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4Parts Guitar - Grantham - 16 /4 /2015

Postby keithmeredith » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:36 pm

The Lincolnshire town of Grantham will forever be (in)famous as the birth place of Margaret Thatcher and the place where Sir Isaac Newton – whose statue is directly adjacent the Arts Centre - received an education. It is perhaps less well known as the hometown of actor, quiz show host and national treasure, Nicholas Parsons – and the first place to swear in a female police officer – Ms.Edith Smith - in 1915. Grantham’s Arts Centre was also to play host to the outstanding guitarist ensemble known as 4Parts Guitar, currently engaged on their “Guitarmageddon” tour.

The Victorian gothic style Arts Centre - previously used as Grantham’s town hall, magistrates court and gaol prior to its conversion to a theatre – is a rather grand building that manages to remain both cosy and intimate (if it is possible to be so with about two hundred other audience members).

The well-tried 4Parts formula of a first set of solo performances followed by duo, trio and quartet presentations following the interval saw the evening’s entertainment initiated by Gordon Giltrap, who – following a short preamble and tribute to influences and mentors no longer with us – played his version of Angie, Shining Morn, and the echoing Appalachian Dreaming.

Making his debut appearance in Grantham, the lofty John Etheridge provided a remarkable contrast with his more anarchic jazz approach. He presented Sonny Rawlings’ Doxy, jazz standard Stormy Weather – which had a karaoke effect on some seated near me, and the South African piece M’Sanduza – which had many clapping along with the beat.

Ray Burley’s quiet, gentle, elegant and precise manner changed the tone of the evening once more. We were graced with Espanoleta by Gasper Sanz: Alman by Robert Johnson: Sarabande in D minor by Bach (who I know Ray thinks of as ‘the Guv’ner’) and Barcarolle Julia Florida by Paraguayan composer Augustin Barrios.

Our second Grantham debutante of the evening, Clive Carroll, has embraced many styles of playing and during Mississippi Blues seemed to make his instrument do what it didn’t want to. He concluded the first part of the evening with Czardas and the quite haunting Oregon.

Following a short intermission all 4Parts took to the stage to demonstrate that their individual methods and approaches to their music can meld and raise the melodies to a higher level.

Maddie Goes West featured the whole company and led to duo combinations between members. Particular highlights were Django Reinhardt‘s Swing 42, played at a manic pace by John and Clive: Aqua E Vinho – a tranquil, peaceful and soothing piece – by Ray and Clive: Daisy Chain presented by Double Vision, and the 4Parts versions of Dublin Day and Heartsong.

The assembled audience were clearly impressed and demonstrated their pleasure enthusiastically.

The four team members were at the top of their game throughout – the music was exquisite, the banter and repartee entertaining, and the musicianship sparkling. These ‘three pensioners and a young dude’ were having fun.

Individually, Gordon Giltrap, John Etheridge, Clive Carroll and Raymond Burley are world class guitarists loved by their fans and respected by their peers. Together their personal techniques interweave and compliment each other, producing a magical musical performance that is so much greater than the sum of the constituent 4 Parts.

PS. This tour promotes a new 4Parts Guitar album entitled “Guitarmageddon”. I purchased a copy at this concert and have to report that it is an absolute cracker that gives both a succulent taste of the live performance and presents some new material too. Recommended.

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Roger USA
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Re: 4Parts Guitar - Grantham - 16 /4 /2015

Postby Roger USA » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:49 pm

Another excellent review Keith. As I always say your reviews are the next best thing to being there!

I also received two years of my education in Grantham, but for some reason it always seems to be Sir Isaac Newton who gets the limelight.

I'll look forward to the new 4 Parts Guitar CD.

All The Best,


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Re: 4Parts Guitar - Grantham - 16 /4 /2015

Postby piotrwargan » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:35 pm

Thanks to your great reviews, Keith, it is like being there :-)
All the best,

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