General News

June 2024 News Update

Gordon Giltrap and John Etheridge

Hello everyone.

Needless to say, the main thrust of this month's news is all about the Giltrap Etheridge tour along with a few photos that might just give you a flavour of it all. Enjoy..

For quite a few years now it had been my wish to go out on the road as a duo with my dear old friend John Etheridge. The main reason apart from the fact that the man is a towering genius in his chosen field, and secondly, he is incredible fun to be with on and off stage, and I knew based on my past experience with the quartet 4 Parts Guitar that it jolly well worked on all levels.

So, on May the 2nd at Shoreham's Ropetackle our journey began with a brief rehearsal before the first show and off we went and with each subsequent gig it just got better and better.

First of all let's bring my dear pal Mark Guyatt into the picture. For ages now it had been his wish to make my gigging life easier by driving me around to the occasional gig and to help me set up my equipment.

When this tour was mentioned it gave him the perfect opportunity to actually make this happen, and make it happen he did by not only driving me round the country from gig to gig but to provide an amazing alternative to the usual round of faceless Travel Lodges and Premier Inn's dotted around the country, in the form of his iconic Airstream land cruiser which is basically a really cool caravan! Obviously, John made his own travel arrangements!

As you can see by the photographs what an amazing piece of design and engineering it is. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought I would be touring in this fashion. I doubt it would happen again because of the logistics that Mark had to plan in terms of choosing the best sites as close as possible to each venue and the time taken on the road between each location, but the man did a great job. Not only that he set up my gear each night and even did the same for John.

We were both spoilt rotten each night. What a joy it was to just leave the stage and not have the clag of having to pack our own gear away thus giving us more time to do a bit of meet and greet after each concert. Mark you are a star, and we can't thank you enough for your hard work and dedication each night.

I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow account of each gig. Each gig was special, but some were somehow a little more special than others in terms of numbers and reaction each night. Liverpool and Sheffield spring to mind. The latter being bittersweet because it was the last show that my beloved Hilary attended, but I was able to rise above the memory and create something memorable and precious!

The Henley on Thames show was nice in terms of bumping into Dhani Harrison the son of George in the restaurant before the show and meeting at long last John Devine who played pipes and whistles on the new version of HEARTSONG and THE WOUNDED HEALER from Scattered Chapters and his lovely wife Karen, and to have in the audience Brian Cresswell the flautist from my old band Accolade with Don Partridge back in the day. It was lovely to meet his wife Lesley and to share fond memories of that time. It was Brian's lovely sister Susan that I was engaged to and who featured on my very first album for Transatlantic.

Because some of the dates had spaces in-between my dear friend Sue and I were able to have a few days away in the Yorkshire dales prior to the Settle gig and then on to spend an evening in the Lake District with dear friends Roger and Moira Bucknall and Tristan Seume.

The weather was glorious, and we were so lucky to be able to visit Malham Cove and also Gordale Scar. We even bumped into a GG fan whilst there!! Sue took this picture of me looking vaguely windswept and interesting. I took some of her but she's a very private person and didn't want it to be shown publicly at this time which I fully understand.

As I write this, we have our final gig this evening at The Pheasantry in the King's Road London. John has played it numerous times and says it's a nice place to play so I look forward to it. I have always found London audiences to be a tad blasé but hey I hope to be proved wrong!

During the tour I was able to play as our encore a new piece entitled 'Small Pockets of Joy' which John added a sublime second part. My amazing agent Lee Noble attended the Selby gig and enjoyed the show very much and said we must do a tour again next year which would be great if the universe allows!

My thanks go to all who supported the dates and to Lee who put it all together and of course to the amazing Mark Guyatt.

Michael Gough

What a cracking time spent a few weeks ago with my dear friend Michael Gough of MG guitars. Here I am holding this beautiful Tele style guitar he made for me.

This really is a world class instrument and I really enjoyed playing it on my tour with the great John Etheridge. Do check out Michael's work at MG guitars.

Thanks Michael for making such great guitars but more importantly thank you for your ongoing friendship. You and Lesley are very dear to me.

More details for Michael's website plus his wonderful playing and lovely compositions are below.

Tracey Sollis concert June 1st

Do try to attend the above show if you can as it's for a great cause and my dear pal the amazing Carrie Martin is sharing the evening with me.