Review: Gordon Giltrap at Live Lounge, Portsmouth Guildhall

Gordon Giltrap
Gordon Giltrap

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Fingers a blur, Gordon Giltrap makes strings sing as chords chime and harmonics ring out in a blissful whirl of melody and rhythm.

The acoustic guitar legend was perfectly suited to the Live Lounge format at the Guildhall, with cabaret-style seating and waiter service. His genial charm quickly endeared him to the appreciative audience as he began with the delightful Shining Morn, quickly followed by Here Comes The Sun played in his own, inimitably embellished style.

That style is classicially centred but with a rock twist and Renaissance, even baroque, influences that had the room entranced.

Since his Top of the Pops heyday with Heartsong in the mid-1970s, he has ploughed his own musical furrow, constantly playing live, writing his own compositions and recording.

He told the audience: “I have never enjoyed playing as much as I do now” And it shows.

For each number he would choose from one of four guitars, each with different attributes.

His only electric number was the multi-layered Dodo’s Dream, creating digital loops and building the track into a one-man orchestral production - awesome to watch and listen to.

Each number was as impressive, with Heartsong, the penultumate number, still a tour-de-force of energy and vitality. GG by name, guitar genius by nature.