General News

April 2023 News Update

Gordon Giltrap and daughter Sadie

With my beautiful daughter Sadie

Dear friends,

I hadn’t intended to write anything on the NEWS page this month but being surrounded by so much love from friends and family I thought only fair to let you know that I’m doing my very best to move forward with my life midst the deep grief of no longer having my beloved and beautiful soul mate Hilary by my side anymore.

I had decided to spend as much time as possible visiting friends and family and fulfilling my promise to Hilary to move forward as best I could and not spending long days and dark night in the house surrounded by the memory of almost 36 astonishing and loved filled years together. I also promised her I would not stop playing which I almost did as a knee jerk reaction to the devastating news.

Here is a rundown of what I have been up to since February 6th and believe it or not and it was completely unexpected….I have started composing again!!!!!! Whether it’s another GG masterpiece or not is an irrelevance the most important thing is that I’m doing it. I remember Pete Townshend saying that if a person is creative then that person should create otherwise (like not giving way to your emotions particularly during a grieving period no matter how long that takes) keeping it locked inside can cause serious damage to the mind and body.

I spent 10 days with my lovely daughter Sadie and her partner Gordon (yes another Gordon) in their beautiful Weymouth home and whilst there met up with my lovely friend singer songwriter Rhona Dickson for lunch on two occasions. I then met up with new friends Malc and Dorrie for coffee at the delightful Oasis cafe on the sea front in Weymouth.

On Friday the 17th I travelled up to Malvern to stay with friends Paul and Chris White. I then departed on the 19th to join Pete Townshend for lunch. Pete gave me a tour of his stunning studio. Whilst there I took some photographs to show Paul Ward Pete’s amazing collection of vintage keyboards which I know Paul would have been interested in.

Since then I spent the day with my daughter in law Karen and grandson Braden in lovely Stratford upon Avon (a favourite place of Hilary’s ) and whilst there we visited a butterfly farm… truly amazing.

My dear friend Ray Mytton arranged a weekend of contemplation in Wales near Abergavenny. The B and B had stunning views overlooking their garden.

On the way back on Sunday 26th I dropped in to the Birmingham guitar show. I still quite enjoy these sort of events in spite of the noise of dozens of guitarist playing a million notes per second through loud over driven amplifiers. I always bump into people I know and it’s a social occasion more than anything.

It was lovely to spend time on the G 7th capo stand with the capos creator Nick Campling and guitarist Tommy Loose plus chatting with bespoke guitar makers.

From there it was up to Sheffield to spend a couple of nights with Paul and Kathryn Ward. It was whilst there that Paul and I started jamming and a new tune appeared as I said earlier much to my surprise. During the following week I had my car serviced and my bargain charity shop purchase of a beautiful settee and chair delivered (see pic also showing my new Travel Air guitar which I'll talk about in a minute) spent the day in my friend Nigel Bates studio recording the delightful voice of singer songwriter Susy Wall who was adding some vocals to one of Nigel’s lovely songs. I have mentioned in the past my collaborations with Nigel and they are great fun. I’m very blessed to have two great female singers in my life namely Carrie Martin and now Susy. Watch this space for more news regarding recordings featuring both these outstanding singers.

For a long time now I have been promising myself I would meet up with the legendary and beautiful Jenny Hanley bear her home in East Sussex. The last time I was in this charismatic woman’s company was when I appeared on Magpie in 1979 so our time together was long overdue. So on a very wet and windy day in Hastings we met up at Maggie’s fish and chip restaurant. To spend time with this extraordinary woman is quite overwhelming but what fun we had catching up!

I managed to fit the visit in whilst visiting that brilliant friend and artist Sue Martin and a lovely few days were spent just catching up and treating her to a birthday dinner at the local pub. I arrived back home on Saturday the 11th.The following day I drove up to Hull and spent the week with Carrie and Darren Martin. During that week we visited a local recycle centre where I purchased a cheap electric guitar that needed some TLC and also bought a nice painting that Carrie took a shine to.

The said guitar was finally gifted to Kate Phillips on a visit later that week to Robin Hoods Bay. (pic of the bay from the Victoria Hotel) Kate is a brilliant guitar player and skilled guitar restorer and is married to the legendary blues man Steve who in the early 70s net up with an up and coming guitarist and formed a duo called the Duoline String Pickers the guitarist in question was Mark Knopfler….the rest is history!

Back to the Hull visit. Whilst there we attended an open mic night in beautiful Beverley at the historic Rising Sun pub. I just love these sort of things and I know that folk appreciate me getting up and doing a few tunes and it’s always a delight to accompany Carrie on her delightful songs. I played my usual one hit… Heartsong, that always goes down well. On the Saturday Carrie arranged for us to pop into BBC Radio Humberside for a live early morning session and in the afternoon it was back to Beverley for lunch and a look in the local guitar shop.

Carrie has a stunning new album out this month called Evergreen. The vinyl version will follow close behind. This is Carries 5th album and I believe represent a pinnacle in her song writing career. There are stunning performances by many guests including that genius Oliver Wakeman on the Prog epic Keep in the Light. Details of where to obtain the album are on Psychotron’s and Carrie’s website.

Earlier that week we visited our lovely friends in the service department of John Hornby Skews up in Leeds. Whilst there the top man there Nathan did some work on my Travel Air travel guitar (see pic higher up the page) and it now plays a treat. I purchased the guitar second hand from Facebook Market place and by the time you read this I will have travelled to Ireland with Sadie and Gordon to visit distant Irish relatives in Athy because a small intimate concert has been arranged and I wouldn’t risk taking a normal guitar. The Travel Air folds in half and can be taken on board as hand luggage. This USA made guitar has a remarkably good tone and has a built in pickup which I hope will do the business. I shall report back next month! Whilst in Dublin Sadie and Gordon are attending one of Elton John’s farewell concerts that had been planned for some time but because of Covid and suchlike it had been put on hold. Unfortunately I couldn’t get a ticket as they are like gold dust.

On Monday the 20th I was visited by that superb guitar maker Steve Toon. It was great to see him again and catch up over lunch.

Scattered Chapters Vinyl

Dont forget, a limited edition of my Scattered Chapters album with Paul Ward is now available on vinyl from Psychotron Records. I believe there are still a few left as I write this but if you would like to own one of these special discs please don't wait!

Full info Here Scattered Chapters LP | Gordon Giltrap

Gordon Giltrap & Paul Ward SCATTERED CHAPTERS vinyl LP - Psychotron Records

From the archives

I love this pic of my folks on Dad's motorbike taken by me aged 18 on a lovely Yashicamat camera

So my friends I hope you’re not too tired reading all this stuff but it has all been part of the healing process. I know my life will never be the same again but I’m doing my best to “re frame” places that I last visited with my darling Hilary.

A dear friend who lost his wife over a year ago said that the first year was the worst and then things start to get a tad better and grief is something I guess I will just have to learn to live with. Everyone says I’m doing well but of course that’s not the case but certainly keeping busy helps.

More next month God willing. G.