GIGSPANNER – Croydon Folk Club, Surrey (26.11.12)
Welcome to the Peter Knight workshop in the ‘art of tuning-up as a prelude to the banquet’. Seriously, Peter makes it all sound so easy segueing from tuning to clever use of harmonics on his violin strings like an expert skimming stones across water.
With consummate skill Roger Flack picks up the rhythm on his trusty Russ Haywood solid body-acoustic guitar accompanied by the pulsating percussion of Vincent Salzfaas on congas and djembe. Opening with the Irish slip jig “The Butterfly” there couldn’t be a more apt tune as it metamorphosis into a thing of beauty and already the trio have the audience captivated with a sound that is ethereal yet comfortably familiar. Phew…and that’s just the hors d’oeuvre.
For those who thought they were going to be treated to ‘just’ an evening of technical brilliance, think again. Being somewhat stunted in his role as the fiddler from Steeleye, Peter also proves a fair ol’ chanter diving straight in with his self-penned “Seagull” (dedicated to the game of “Shove Ha’penny” of which he regularly used to play at The Nelson in Hastings) and the glorious chorus “Seagull, seagull, three, three in a bed”.
To my knowledge ‘Scrabble’ hasn’t been given the same accolade and as for ‘Countdown’…well. The stand-out song of the night for me and many others was undoubtedly “Mad Tom Of Bedlam” with Roger utilising his ‘talk-box’ (yes, the same gadget Peter Frampton used to use) to disturbing effect.
I later discovered the trio are going to be releasing a ‘live’ recording of the track available as a download from CD Baby and if you really do want to give something different for Christmas play this track for Uncle Albert and remind him of where he could wind up.
In an evening packed with musical delights including Roger playing drumsticks on Peter’s strings the audience went away with beaming smiles that could have powered the National grid and I can only suggest you check them out at the earliest opportunity.
On a final note, folk club organisers please stop people from rustling their pork scratchings bags so loud (during the poignant “Water Is Wide”) that you’d think Ben Cartwright from Bonanza had entered the room. It’s downright rude and an insult not only to the performers but to the annoyance of the audience as well. At least he did buy a copy of the band’s CD more than likely so he could hear the band in the comfort of his own room…I ask you