"Ravens & Lullabies Tours"
Oliver Wakeman & Gordon Giltrap
The Wesley Centre, Maltby. Saturday 7th December '13
Review by Stephen Lambe
Making a very welcome return to the CRS after a gap of just over a year were Mssrs Giltrap and Wakeman, this time with the splendid Paul Manzi adding his vocal talents. Those that might have stayed away expecting a similar set - and banter - to their 2012 performance really missed out.
The boys had planned a very different set featuring some ofthe vocal tracks from Raven's and Lullabies and while certain key elements - like Gordon's magnificent Dodo's Dream showcase - remained in place - the addition of Paul's vocals made for a more varied set.
Particularly effective were the "Lullabies" vocal tracks from that album, including the gorgeous "Raven's Will Fly Away" and "Maybe Tomorrow" and the trio even had a bash at a decent version ofthe otherwise up tempo "Mother's Ruin" in acoustic format.
Another great CRS night.
The Musician, Leicester. Wednesday 30th October 2013
Review by Keith Meredith
This can't be right - Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman playing at The Musician in Leicester? Isn't that a pub venue where all those loud heavy metal bands play? Not the sort of place for the more sophisticated sort of players surely.My son, Graham, and I pondered this as we made our way to Clyde Street for a boys evening out. We had previously visited The Musician together to see The Enid: and Graham had attended several times to hear bands producing a decidedly more ferrous sound.
Happily, I can report that everything worked swimmingly. The room had been laid out 'cabaret style' with discreet lighting providing a warm, cozy atmosphere for the knowledgeable and appreciative audience. The presage was positive.The ever-lovely Hilary greeted us and, after obtaining some liquid refreshment at the bar, we found seats to the right of the stage for a change, to get a better view of Oliver's keyboard prestidigitations.
The Ravens & Lullabies set has become familiar and understood - but hearing it played through the exceptional sound system permanently set up at The Musician gave it a further dimension. Although we were not in the best position acoustically it sounded pretty damn good to me. The banter and gentle, teasing rapport between Gordon and Oliver appeared as spontaneous as ever - and elicited much cachinnation from the audience.
Favorite pieces were Wherever There Is Beauty, LJW, A Mayfair Kiss, Lutey and the Mermaid, Fiona's Smile (of course) and a flawless Dodo's Dream only very slightly marred by a technical gremlin. We were all sent on our way home with a tumultuous rendition of Heartsong and Wondrous Stories - the Yes classic - echoing around our collective consciences.Graham had not witnessed the pairing of G and O before, and commented on what an excellent pairing they were - their respective musical styles, abilities and professionalism each complementing the other. He is a guitarist and performer too - so I believe that opinion to carry extra weight.
I came away with my usual feeling of elation at having seen and heard two superlative musicians and a suspicion that I was going to suffer the after effects of my indulgence in the morning - I shouldn't have had that second shandy. We Meredith's know how to paint the town red!!!!!!!!
Summer's End, Lydney. Saturday 5th October 2013
Review by James Allen
This was billed as Ravens and Lullabies, but if I use that as my heading I am likely to get far fewer hits on Google, so I am using the names of the artistes who put together the album of that name, and around which this evening's set is to be centred. And I should probably make the point that I do not have that album or anything by either artiste, which meant this whole set was entirely unfamiliar to me.
So this review should be fun.It is worth pointing out that although they are not coming on last, this is the headline act for the Saturday and they have a two hour slot. Naturally, we are behind time, and they kick things off at 1935 with Moneyfacturing, a rocking, upbeat start, an electric band with Gordon Giltrap on acoustic guitar.
And I think I should explain who are in the band. Well, obviously, there is Oliver Wakeman on keyboards. And we have Paul Manzi on vocals, who is familiar to me from Arena. Then we have Steve Anderson on bass and Johanne James on drums, who are also familiar to me from Threshold. And finally we have Nick Kendall on guitar, who might be familiar to me if I had been to see Rock Of Ages, apparently. So I know most of the band, even if I do not know any of the songs they are playing.The next song, which I believe is called Don't Come Running, is driving away headlong, and, to be honest, I am finding this to be very electric alongside Gordon's acoustic guitar playing, to the extent that I am wondering why it needs the acoustic guitar at all.
They follow this with a track from the album which was written for Benoit David (of Mystery fame) to sing and From The Turn Of A Card rocks away swaying then holds for Paul to sing with just the acoustic guitar from Gordon before it kicks on. I will have to listen to the album version because Paul and Benoit are very different singers.Then we have something from the Mother's Ruin album and Paul has an acoustic guitar out for this one. It eases along and is very melodic in bursts, and the Threshold rhythm section are as tight as you would expect them to be. In fact, the whole band sound so together that it is very hard to believe this is the first gig for them, and just goes to show the level of their talent that they have brought it together so very well.
Elizabethan Pirates is a song from Oliver and Gordon's acoustic set, but it has been completely rearranged for tonight's performance. It is an instrumental which sounds how you would imagine it to sound from its title, and it is great fun.Anyone Can Fly from the Ravens and Lullabies album was written by Oliver for his baby daughter, and he says of Gordon, "this should allow you to better hear some of the acoustic expertise from his 40 year career," to which Gordon replies, "Thank you. This really is care in the community, being up on stage with these young guys." It rolls along upbeat and really does allow Gordon to show off his virtuosity.
Oliver, who is clearly running the show, introduces the band, but I did that earlier on in this review. And now we get one of Gordon's songs, from his 1979 album, The Peacock Party, and this is called Roots. It features the band and eases in with crashing cymbals and wailing vocals from Paul, growing in stages, very much an instrumental in layers.Everyone else leaves the stage as Gordon then plays a solo instrumental piece from 1981, called The Dodo's Dream, and he is using a looping station for this. He starts with the opening to Stairway To Heaven then goes into the track on his electric guitar, and it was fabulous.
They shift a keyboard into the centre of the stage and Oliver comes back on in a change of costume, saying "I thought I would break out a Yes jacket for you."A Perfect Day was written by him the day after he met the lady who became his wife. It is played by just him and Gordon, as are the rest of the songs in this part of the show, and they are the only ones who remain on the stage.
They continue with Fiona's Smile, before Oliver considers the life of a rock star and declares, "We're more likely to decorate a hotel room." They move on to LJW, and then The Forgotten King which Oliver did originally with Steve Howe (of The Steve Howe Trio fame), although the first time he went round to Steve's house to play him the song he forgot to take the disc, and ended up bringing in his keyboard so that he could play it instead.
Then we get Wherever There Was Beauty with Oliver playing the string quartet prelude, and a piano piece from the album, A Mayfair Kiss, which sees just Oliver remaining on the stage, both of which are very lovely.Gordon and Paul come back on for Picture Of A Lady, but as there is now a keyboard in the middle of the stage they have to decide where Paul can stand before they get going.
They bring the others back on for Maybe Tomorrow, which is a soft, gentle one. The next track is the longest one from the album, Is This The Last Song ? They follow that with Credit Carnival, and we are rocking along again, and anyone who has seen Paul perform knows that he can really belt out a rocking number. Before they get to the next song Oliver allows Paul to tell us an anecdote from a session they did for Bob Harris where they were told where to sit, but that meant they had no eye contact so they were out of time with each other and had to rearrange the BBC office. It is a shame for Paul that Gordon had already told us most of the story earlier on in the set.Gordon comes in first with a shortened version of One For Billie and then they continue on into Ravens Will Fly Away, which sounds great.
"This is our last track, unless you invite us back," declares Oliver, before adding, "that was subtle, wasn't it. We've rehearsed it so you're getting it whether you like it or not." They close with I Don't Believe In Angels, which rocks away with the crowd clapping along and takes us to a storming finish. "Do you want us to walk off or just stay ?" asks Oliver, before he introduces the band again.
And it is a special encore because they play the full album version of Heartsong which has not been done for over 30 years and Gordon dedicates it to his wife Hilary. I do not know the song as such, but it sounds very familiar, and after this set I feel like a lot of what I have heard should become more familiar to me.
I must admit I did not know what to expect and they have delivered something very enjoyable indeed.
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester. Saturday 22nd Spetember 2012
Review by Keith Meredith
September 22nd was a good day to be riding somewhere with a purpose - that purpose being to visit the unique architectural gem that is Huntingdon Hall in Worcester. This was to be the venue for the inaugural concert of the Ravens & Lullabies tour featuring Gordon Giltrap and the tall, good-looking and very talented Mr. Oliver Wakeman. I am pleased to report that the effort was well rewarded.
Many others had also made the effort. I was greeted by agent and series promoter Sue Webster and her other half, Dean -and other VIPs and crew soon appeared: Sue and Mike Holton were to record the evening on video, Malc and Kaz were on merchandise duties: Lee attended to still photography - which left me to do the words - again!
To my shame I am not that familiar with Oliver's work - a deficiency that I intend to remedy. It is perhaps inevitable that he be compared to his father - but this I believe does him a great disservice - he is a talented, principled and assiduous musician in his own right and deserves to be regarded as such.
I must admit that I didn't quite know what to expect of this gig - but in very short order I was captivated and mesmerised by the sounds presented to my grateful ears. We moved back and forth between established Giltrap tunes: new compositions: duets between keyboard and guitar followed by some of Oliver's outstanding work. We even had the two of them playing Bach!
Familiar Giltrap pieces such as Maddie Goes West and Fiona's Smile were given an extra dimension by the keyboard skills of Mr. Wakeman - and the reverse was also true when guitar supported keyboard. The music bounced from calm and relaxing to stimulating and exciting and then back again - this new collaborative venture richly deserves success and a much wider audience.
The rearrangement of 'Roots' from the Fear of the Dark album was a particular highlight as it was prog rock that originally introduced me to Gordon's music. It became the first half finale deposing a near perfect Dodo's Dream to midway through part deux.
'Wherever There was Beauty' - a tribute to artist Peter Pritchard - was also a new composition that I especially enjoyed - both performers combined to produce a particularly melodic and fulsome sound.Individually, both Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman are exceptionally gifted musicians and composers - capable of producing joyous, thoughtful, emotional and exciting music. When their talents are combined in the way they are in this collaboration, then the results far outshine the sum parts. Each complements the other's talents to produce a unique performance.
There are two kinds of music - the good and the bad. Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman play the good kind. If music be your opiate do not miss this tour.
Trowbridge Arts Festival. Saturday 29th September 2012
Review by Bob Wilson
On Saturday 29th September, Trowbridge Arts Festival hosted a concert with Gordon and Oliver on their 'Ravens and Lullabies' tour. After a sold-out guitar workshop given by Gordon in the afternoon, the evening saw all seats also filled for their concert.
Not really knowing what to expect with this duo, the audience were very soon captured in the moment. The evening started with Gordon's 'Maddie Goes West' to warm the audience, before the duo played together on one of Oliver's pieces.
From then on the evening continued to astound and surprise, with a mix of old pieces from both performers' repertoires and some lovely, new pieces that will be part of the 'Ravens and Lullabies' CD due out early next year.
Also included were pieces from Bach and Yes which demonstrated the wide-ranging talents of the pair. Interspersed with the usual banter, the two of them joked together and kept the audience laughing between pieces of music.
Outstanding pieces of the night for me were the melodic 'The Forgotten King', a wonderful version of 'Dodo's Dream', a beautiful piece called 'LJW' and the perfectly played 'Here Comes the Sun'.
This was a fantastic climax to the musical part of the Trowbridge Arts Festival and the choice for this final concert was a good decision, well received by all who got tickets to attend. Good to see Gordon and Hilary again, meet Oliver for the first time and also, our friend Mike Stranks who kindly helped on the merch table.
Thanks Gordon and Oliver, a brilliant day and a brilliant evening.
Band on the Wall, Manchester. Tuesday 2nd October 2012
Review by Kevin
Superb concert at The Band on the Wall last night
Gordon and Oliver work so well together their musical styles compliment each other as do their relaxed personalities. The choice of pieces they played covered so many genres and the fact that each musician contributed to the others signature work demonstrated how well they work as a duo.
Both musicians helped to create a very warm and friendly atmosphere with amusing stories and banter, not even a mobile phone going off could spoil the atmosphere, (I cant believe people still allow this to happen the culprit even had the nerve to hold a brief conversation, I honestly believe he didn't realise he was doing anything wrong, He was!)
On a positive note Gordon pointed out that Bill Leader was in the audience (interesting for a music history buff like me) Wikipedia will give you the relevance and its a significant one.
From Bach to Yes with personal pieces in between certainly works for these two musicians (the standard is high). This musical partnership undoubtably has what is now commonly known as "having legs" Long may they run!
Thank you Gordon and Oliver – Kevin
Grantham Arts Centre, Grantham. Thursday 12th October 2012
Review by keithmeredith
Grantham Arts Centre was originally mainly used as a magistrate's sessions hall - complete with jail cells. It is now transformed into a two hundred odd seat theatre accessed by ascending a grand Victorian staircase. The jail now houses the cafe, although I understand that the kitchen is still referred to as 'the back cell'.
I attended this concert in the Ravens and Lullabies tour accompanied by my beloved, Fiona - aka The Smiling One - and we both thoroughly enjoyed the experience.As we were in a proper theatre with tiered seating it meant that we had a much improved view of Messrs Giltrap and Wakeman in action. The lighting was far better - with less emphasis on the red that transformed Oliver into a flaming redhead at HH - and the acoustics were marvellous.
The running order was, of course, similar to the inaugural gig of the series that I went to solo at Huntingdon Hall, Worcester - but this event was even better. Performances were more practiced as you would expect - a couple of weeks into the tour means both artists are well 'in the groove'. The banter and jocularity between Gordon and Oliver was as funny as ever and so natural that it is impossible to tell if it be rehearsed or ad lib - and the whole event came across as tighter and even more polished.
So much effort and hard work have gone into presenting this series. This rare collaboration between two most respected and admired musicians deserves to be a success. A wider audience needs to appreciate and support them.
We're going to see them again very soon - as a certain commercial says; "because they're worth it".
The Wesley Centre, Maltby. Saturday 13th October 2012
Review by Martin Hudson
The drum and electric guitar union were not out in force this evening as there was not a drum kit in sight - and only one electric guitar. However, there was at least four quality musicians on stage on a nicely laid back evening and performing in front of a packed all-seater CRS crowd.
Magenta were represented in the support slot by the dextrous pairing of Chris and Dan Fry with a forty-five minute set based mainly on Chris's solo album 'Composed'. Add to that a couple of covers, including an acoustic version of King Crimson's 'Red', the boys pleased proving that a whole band is not always the need. 'Parachute' had Chris admitting that there was a nod towards Giltrap's 'Heartsong' within it, but referring back to when it was written he laughed saying, "I thought what's the chances of us ever play with Gordon." I'm sure Uncle Gord. didn't mind.
The Giltrap / Oliver Wakeman partnership is something I had encouraged a few years ago and so when Gordon united with the now ex-Yes keyboards man I knew it was a winner. Tonight was just one night of a tour to test the water and lay a base for the next tour and a full-band for the promotion of their 'Ravens and Lullabies' album in early 2013. It proved not only a musical but humorous success.
The set began with a Gordon's tune, 'Maddie Goes West', before both musicians skimmed the surface of their personal musical careers to date. Highlights included Giltrap's 'Camber Sands' from the 'Troubadour' album and Oliver's 'Heaven's Isle' medley take from his debut solo album.
The cover of George Harrison's 'Here Comes The Sun' saw Giltrap bring out his 'little' guitar to which Oliver produced a toddlers keyboard, a well-rehearsed moment much to the audience amusement. Oliver even hit a few Yes chords on it.
A rare opportunity to catch Giltrap on electric guitar on 'Dodo's Dream' was his nod to prog rock as he played creating loops of sound before the pair concluded with Oliver's 'The Forgotten King' (even if he now knows the name of the king he wrote it about) and Giltrap's most famous piece, 'Heartsong'.
With an encore of 'Wondrous Stories' that was it. Onwards to 2013 and their debut release and having had a taster of the Raven's section I think they will notch up more than 'tin' in sales; a tongue-in-cheek Giltrap prediction.
Brook Theatre, Chatham. Thursday 18th October 2012
Review by Brad
I have thought long and hard as how best to do a review of last night's concert.
I could list the pieces played, give a number by number account of each and how they compare - both to each piece and to the original versions as previously known to me. However that could not possibly do justice to the overall performance by both artists or even begin to convey the experience.
I always enjoy Gordon's music and performances, though Oliver's music is much less familiar to me, thus giving an expectation of the familiar with the unheard and, for me, the untested. Was I disappointed? Not in the least, not only that, I found myself sitting and listening intently and even wallowing in the music.
What a wonderful evening and experience to have been entertained by such consumate musicians who know exactly how to reach their audience and, clearly, enjoy themselves as well.Words are totally inadequate to convey my view of the concert. So, if you haven't already, try to get to one of the remaining events and you will surely understand what I haven't been able to express.
I read a couple of days ago of the imminent Rolling Stones concerts and the ridiculous prices being asked for tickets - that is from official sources. If you enjoy quality music, quality performers and, simply, a magical evening, you can do that at a tiny fraction of the cost with Gordon & Oliver's 'Ravens & Lullabies'.
Brook Theatre, Chatham. Thursday 18th October 2012
Review by Furtheron
I had a fantastic night out last night, Mrs F and I went to a packed Brook Theatre in Chatham to see Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman in concert. Right - yes Oliver, not Rick who Gordon has collaborated in the past with but Oliver is now working with Gordon on a new album "Ravens and Lullabies" due out in a couple of months.
Any regular readers of this blog will know that Mr Giltrap is one of my heroes having seen him in many concerts, bought a load of his albums, struggled over learning his pieces, bought one of his signature guitars and had the privilege of meeting him at a workshop some years back in Margate. So this review will be biased! :-)
Brilliant night - a couple of pieces off the new CD, one played in a "unique arrangement", i.e. I think Gordon went wrong somewhere but frankly I don't think anyone in the audience noticed at all - I certainly didn't. Some of Gordon's famous pieces worked with brilliant accompaniment from Oliver - Isabella's Wedding shone out in this regard for me. Oliver introduced several pieces of his from his back solo catalogue again with Gordon adding some great additional guitar parts.
One thing it was interesting to watch Gordon on these pieces and the Bach one they did as well. Gordon was "out of his comfort zone" I think, these aren't pieces he had years and years to nail and as any musician will know once you are playing with someone else there is a higher degree of rigour in how and what you play, if you are solo you can be freer with your timing etc. as there is no-one else needing to be understanding of it. Also Gordon was studying his "music" carefully at many points - but I don't believe he actually can read music - I'd love to know what he uses, some form of tabulature no doubt, but with rhythmic symbols or not etc. Whatever the performance was still flawless on both sides of the stage.
Both took solo slots in the first and second halves and there were brilliant as you'd expect. Along with their great humour, obvious friendship and clear mutual respect of each other it was a pleasure to be in their company for the evening which seemed to finish all to early. The encore piece was interesting with Oliver having asked that they do a version of Wondrous Stories by Yes which he never got the chance to play live in his time with the band since post Jon Anderson it wasn't on the set list. Oliver a worthy "secondment" for his Dad as he put it - his little quip about his different approach to subject matter vs his Dad was also a humorous insight to family discussions :-)
For the gear heads Gordon was festooned with signature machinery on stage. He used his Flyde Gordon Giltrap signature in standard tuning the most of all. Two of his Vintage Gordon Giltrap signature guitars got used to, a cedar topped one which looked to me to have had a new Rare Earth pickup fitted replacing the factory standard arrangement and a mahogany fronted one again with a Rare Earth on it. For Dodo's Dream he used his new Fret King signature electric guitar which sounded fantastic - everything I see and hear of these new Black Label Fret Kings seems that they have to be on your shopping list if you are looking for something under £1,000. Lastly he used his Rob Armstrong baby guitar for Here Come's The Sun to much ribbing from Oliver about it being a "toy".
Great night out, two super musicians in complete harmony with themselves, the sound was excellent again as always at the Brook and the album is now on my wish list and I await it with great anticipation.
Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham. Friday 19th October 2012
Review by Roger
The Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham is a compact 150 seat theatre that we know quite well. It has very special memories for us as we've seen Gordon play there twice now, the first time when we were first getting to know him and Hilary and then again towards the end of 2006. Both brilliant evenings, especially the second gig when there were a few surprises in store, such as the appearance of the John Bailey double-neck for a stunning version of "Sallie's Song", and "Dodo's Dream" performed twice (the second time for an encore!).
So we turned up at the Ashcroft expecting another great evening, only marred somewhat by the fact that our friends Bob and Jane (Wilson) couldn't be there.As we took our seats it seemed a little strange to see some keyboards on stage next to Gordon's array of fine guitars, including his new Fret King electric. As the lights went down you could feel the anticipation welling in the sell-out audience and then Gordon and Oliver appeared.
They started with "Maddie Goes West" and immediately the standard for the evening was set, with no signs of fatigue after their protracted journey from Kent.
The set seemed to go from strength to strength and everything about the concert worked extremely well, Gordon and Oliver's playing together, the solo pieces and of course the excellent banter and interaction with the audience. Also, no egos here, just great mutual respect between two great musicians which led to many moments of unforced musical magic during the evening.Of Gordon's pieces: "Fiona's Smile" and "Isabella's Wedding" worked really well with Oliver in support, but then we know Gordon's music well and his solo pieces "On Camber Sands" and "Dodo's Dream" were sublime.
To our shame neither of us were familiar with Oliver's playing and his music*, so the quality of "An Unknown King", "Lutey and the Mermaid", "Nature's Way" and "Heaven's Isle" came as a very pleasant surprise. (*Needless to say we'll be doing our utmost to rectify this situation!)Even by Gordon's high standards and our own expectations of gigs at the Ashcroft, this was something very special indeed and the surprises kept coming, including a superb rendition of "Wondrous Stories", which was a fitting encore (never thought we'd hear a Yes song at a Gordon Giltrap gig!).
However the icing on the cake was a WONDERFUL version of "Roots" from Gordon's classic "Fear of the Dark" album. Oliver had made one or two playful references to Gordon's age, but we all could have been back in 1979 as the power and intensity of the piece cut through the air. Brilliant contribution from Oliver here too.
All in all this was an outstanding evening which will live in the memory for a long time to come. We just hope that this is a the start of a long-lasting partnership!
St Michael's Church, Bishops Itchington, Southam. Sunday 28th October 2012
Review by Bob Wilson
A great venue for the last of the 'Ravens and Lullabies' tour for 2012 (more to come in 2013). St Michael's Church was originally where Gordon and Oliver chose to practice and pull together their tour, so it is special to them and it showed.Both were relaxed and in good form, obviously having fun together and keeping us all laughing between pieces. With Oliver sharing some 'Gordonisms' from some of the previous gigs and Gordon's usual 'tongue in cheek' repartee, the audience were put at ease very quickly.
Also, the history of the pieces and how they came about was a fascinating insight into these two performers.'Nature's Way', 'Fiona's Smile', 'LJW' and 'Roots' were sublime in the first half.In the second half, 'Isabella's Wedding', 'Wherever There is Beauty' and 'A Forgotten King' were 'stand-out' pieces for me, but there was not a piece that didn't touch somebody at the gig.
'A Perfect Day' and 'LJW' are emotional pieces which Oliver plays down a bit until he touches the keyboards.
This gives away how important the pieces are to him and they shine because of it (Aah!). And his piece 'Natures Way', inspired by Lundy Island, shows how emotive music can be when portraying nature. I'll be interested to see what happens if he gets to the Isles of Scilly!
Although I know Gordon's pieces well, he still likes to surprise occasionally, especially with 'The Dodo's Dream'. Yet another little piece put in (or improvised) to tantalise; and this, along with the beautiful 'Camber Sands' again transports the listener to another place. Also, Gordon playing a couple of pieces on classical guitar is a new experience for us, as well as for him.
In this lovely church, we were made to feel very welcome by Rev. Martin from the get-go. Good to meet up with Gordon, Hilary and Oliver again and to meet (at last) Sue Webster and Dean.Can't wait for the CD and I hope there will be some more concerts a little nearer next year.
Maltings, Farnham, Surrey. Wednesday 17th October 2012
Review by Trevor Raggatt
Some years ago folk veteran Gordon Giltrap released an album of duets with rock legend and Grumpy Old Man, Rick Wakeman.
Fast-forward and he's preparing to release an album with the second generation of the Wakeman dynasty.Already well known on the prog-rock circuit for his solo albums and for work with The Strawbs, Wakeman Jr has also toured with Yes, deputising for his dear old dad. Given the striking family resemblance, this must have produced many deja vu moments. Indeed, looking at the two musicians seated on the Farnham stage, it seemed like some sort of strange time warp was in progress.
There was certainly an element of deja vu listening to Oliver Wakeman. His playing is spookily reminiscent of his father's -a mixture of fluid, cascading notes interspersed with the occasional showy flourish. And with his long, blond locks hanging forwards over his face it was double-take time again!Giltrap's playing is equally famed for its intricacy, whether his power-chord thrashing of the guitar or complex, single-note runs. All of which could have been a recipe for an overly busy evening of competing virtuosity.
Perhaps in the hands of less experienced artists but not here.The time that had clearly been put into the arrangements paid off for the audience. Familiar songs from each artist's back catalogue were presented in radical new clothing - each musician leaving space for the other to contribute to the overall sound.Whether Wakeman's tumbling piano on Giltrap's 'Heartsong' or Giltrap switching between strumming and delicate counter- melody on Wakeman's 'The Forgotten King', the results seemed effortless.
The new tracks from the forthcoming Ravens & Lullabies album were equally beguiling. Topped off with a crowd-pleasing encore of Yes's 'Wondrous Stories', the evening raised hopes that this partnership of young and old will be a long-lasting one.