Thanks to the photographer Dave Pegg for these shots taken at The 2016 Village Pump Festival.
Peter was kept busy over the weekend, as in addition to Gigspanner' set, he also guested with Charlie Dore and Julian Littman, and festival organiser's John Alderslade's own band, Stonegallows.
21st June 2016
Gigspanner Soundcheck Video from The Convent, Stroud 'She Moved Through The Fair'
17th April 2016
Shakespeare 400 'World on 3' Performance
As part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations, Gigspanner has been invited by BBC Radio 3 to be part of a special 'World on 3' concert to be broadcast from Stratford-upon-Avon on April the 22nd. The concert will be held at 'The Other Place'.
There is a full program of free events being hosted by Radio 3 over the weekend of 22nd to 24th of April. For more information go to:
'Big Band' Lineup with special Guests Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin April/May Tour News
Peter Knight, winner of two 'Best Musician' Awards in 2016, and his trio Gigspanner, join forces with BBC Folk Awards winners Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin for what will be a short series of truly extraordinary concerts by five musicians who are without question the real deal.
Separately, they have already built massive reputations for their imaginative and groundbreaking arrangements of both traditional and self-penned material, but put all five brilliant musicians together on the same stage - at the same time – and you have an incredibly special treat in store from the Gigspanner 'Big Band'....
Gigspanner's gig at the Convent was beautifully filmed, and the sound was superb. A huge thanks to Dave and Ian for the sound, and I'm not sure who was operating the cameras, but friends who watched the gig in France said it looked superb. "Gobsmacking" was the word.
The gig was streamed live, which is what the Convent is all about really. Our gig was being shown in the bar after the gig, and I had no idea that the result was going to be so good. I would certainly watch a gig from The Convent at home now I know the quality involved. Check out all the gigs they have coming up. Fantastic.
I think our gig is still up on the website for a couple more days if you fancy spending £7.50, grabbing a drink or two and getting the chip pan on. No driving involved. If technology carries on advancing like this, I won't need to leave home to go on tour.
Also, I have a new friend. His name is Tony Hazzard and he performed the night before. I watched all the artists, and was particularly moved by his songs. Turns out he's written songs for all sorts of famous people.
We drank till quite late, including a few Jagerbombs, and even got complaints from some young musicians who were sleeping in rooms above the bar. I love it. A couple of pensioners keeping the younguns up. Rock n roll. Actually, there were four of us. I think.
Finally, huge thanks to Matthew Roberts and Charlotte, plus all the team for an out of this world experience. Get well soon, Matthew.
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2nd March 2016
A second 'Musician of the Year' Award for Peter Knight
The year got off to a fantastic start in January when Peter was awarded the 'Musician of the Year' Award by Fatea magazine, and yesterday it got even better when Folking.com announced that Peter had also won their inaugural 'Best Musician' Award as voted for by the general public.
Gigspanner also received a nomination in the 'Best Album' category.
First Video Recording of the
Gigspanner 'Big Band' with Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
In the lead up to our forthcoming tour with special guests Phil and Hannah, we will be releasing a few videos that were recorded last summer during our 'Layers of Ages' launch tour.
Once we had all experienced the music we made together, we knew that two gigs just wasn't enough and we were delighted when Bristol Folk Festival offered us a headline slot this year. It was all the excuse we needed...
'Layers of Ages' Receives 'Best of 2015' Pick from America.
"British psychedelic folk rocker Peter Knight and his band Gigspanner, whose album Layers Of Ages – heavy, earthy, haunting and hollow with drones and drum – isn’t beautiful, and isn’t meant to be. A rich field for the traditional set, indeed"
'Layers of Ages' Makes it into a 'Top Ten Albums 2015' List
It isn't often we find ourselves mentioned in the same breath as Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Steve Hackett or even The Pope, but our 'Layers of Ages' Album was listed with these and others in an overview of Best Albums of 2015...actually making it into the top ten.
"Layers of Ages sees imaginative arrangements of traditional folk numbers. Though not an instrumental record, Knight’s evocative and lyrical violin playing is the heart of the sound, full of melody and emotion. Much like contemporary jazz, some modern folk has a lot of appeal for fans of progressive rock wanting to venture out of their comfort zone, and this record is a very good place to start"
A late review of 'Layers of Ages' has turned up in 'Acoustic' magazine.
An abbreviated overview...
"Peter Knight and his lads have been touring like fury, and currently the UK's folk music scene is in an interesting period of transition... folkies are looking to rejuvenate their oeuvre, with bands like Gigspanner at the forefront. And this bunch does well with tracks that bristle with intrigue and imagination, almost defying the listener to turn away"
1st August 2015
'Layers of Ages' Reviewed in fRoots.
An abbreviated version...
"Peter Knight’s ambitions always extended beyond the day job and now he’s freed himself from that particular long-term engagement he is starting to unfurl his colours, and he shows a willingness to turn the expected inside out and to place it back as neat as it was before being taken.
She Moved Through The Fair is fair game...multiple gentle versions have reinforced the idea of a dead love come back, but eight-plus minutes of hypnotic shifting and jig-driven metamorphosis soon put those in the shade.
Knight’s kinship with Irish music is also celebrated by a lovely rendering of Salley Gardens.
However, just in case you were in any doubt as to this band’s potential, the opener Bows Of London, involves sister killing sister, bodily metamorphosis into musical instruments and voices from beyond, all delivered in ethno-ambient clothing.
There is as much hinted at here as delivered. Peter Knight’s ambition and drive is an untapped well".
17th June 2015
4 Star Review in Maverick Magazine
"With his new trio, Peter Knight breaks new ground and is second to absolutely nobody...(Gigspanner) deliver a quite simply superb set"
Ground-breaking, engaging, frequently astonishing, this is a recording that fully justifies that old cliche, potential album of the year"
15th June 2015
Special guests at Nettlebed and Tewkesbury
Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin join us at Nettlebed folk club tonight, and at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury tomorrow night.
It's 4pm and we are just about to soundcheck at Nettlebed. I can hear everyone tuning up and even that sounds beautiful to me. Can't wait for the gig.
Try and make one of these gigs if you can.
Our rehearsal for these two gigs was absolutely rich with music making. I am smiling.
4th June 2015
Folk Radio UK
An insightful review of Layers of Ages appears on FRUK, the UK's leading online magazines for modern and traditional folk music.
"Gigspanner has taken traditional tunes as a starting point and rearranged, orchestrated and improvised around them to create fascinating new works....they move effortlessly and seamlessly through myriad styles and textures....the result is well worth the wait, leaving no doubt that Gigspanner’s increasingly impressive sound is like no other"
The EFDSS magazine has included a great review of the album in its latest copy.
"Gigspanner work together in musical genius. The entire album presents us with a large mix of different instruments and sounds to captivate the listener and keep things constantly changing and flowing.This makes each and every track on the album special without any risk of repetition. There is no track that won’t rope you in and buzz you like drinking a barrel of coffee"
The full review can be read in 'Media and Press'
Saturday 2nd May 2015
More Radio Play.
Thanks again to Rick of Roots and Fusion for playing another track (King of the Fairies) from Layers of Ages, and for calling it one of his albums of the year. The track comes in at 1 hour 26.
Do check out the entire show, it is a great source of not only folk, but world, blues, roots and fusion. You stand a fine chance of discovering a real gem or two....even a whole program full!
To celebrate we have a gift for you in the form of a free download from the new album. We have chosen the track 'Bows of London', which is a real gift because this is a genuine debut. The song has never been played live, so it should be fresh to your ears.
Yes I know....many of you are going to keep your 'Layers of Ages' virginity until the 11th of May release date. Well done!
But to the strumpets amongst you, here you are, with our love.
The album is available on pre-order right now, ready to be sent out at the end of the week. See shop for details.
Perrine Nouvier has created this extraordinary film for the song 'Death And The Lady'.
Tuesday 28th April 2015
First review of Layers of Ages published by Spiral Earth.
"A glorious musical tour de force...What makes Gigspanner unique is the variety of musical colours on their palette. What makes them brilliant is how they blend them without ever muddying the landscape"
All UK media enquiries for Gigspanner's album Layers of Ages please contact Jane Brace PR Tel : (01243) 789554
Sunday 19th April 2015
New Youtube Videos .
Two new interview videos by Terry Hulf and Edd Blakeley
We took a break from recording the new album to chat to producer Edd Blakeley about the inspiration behind the material for 'Layers of Ages'. In the second video we each talk about the story behind the instruments that we have chosen to play.
Wednesday 1st April 2015
New Album'Layers of Ages' now available for Pre-Order.
Orders may now be placed for Gigspanner's new studio album, which is due for release on Monday May 11th 2015.
Hi all. I know. It's been a while. Sorry about that. I'm sure you know that the reason for neglecting the website for so long is because I haven't been neglecting the music. I have proof :)
Gigspanner has spent the past few months recording a new studio album called 'Layers Of Ages'. We recorded in our own studios, and then pulled it all together at the end with the help of a young and dynamic Man called Edward Blakeley. We spent the best part of a month with Edward, overdubbing, mixing and mastering. We are well pleased with the result.
We will be loading up a dedicated page in a short while, with sound samples of the tracks, artwork etc, so for now I'll simply give you some idea of what to expect.
The music is mostly traditional, and the approach is how we always approach the music. We like to leave enough room within the arrangements to spread out and stretch the music a little. There is nothing more exciting than finding yourself lost in a new layer of spontaneous and inspired music. Having said that, we are aware that it is the song that has to live, so the music has to enhance and not hinder.
Gigspanner has grown organically since its conception, so we decided to give it a present by asking a few people to help us with this album. Elly Lucas for the cover shot, and Jane Brace to handle the publicity. Tim Marrs has again produced a beautiful sleeve design, with type setting by Kate Stretton, and I have already mentioned Edward Blakeley. We will have film and video to help promote this cd, and the launch tour is in June. The official release date is May 11th, and pre-orders will be from April 1st. No. It's not an April fool joke.
I will get back to you with lots more information in a while, but for now I have some practice to do. The 'Feast of Fiddles' tour begins straight after the Gigspanner tour in four days time, and I can't let Hugh Crabtree down.
Back in a while.
Wednesday 19th November 2014
'Secondary thoughts from a Premier Inn.'
A few words all to do with Gigspanner and where we are with the music.
We are half way through the tour and all is well. The music continues to grow along with the audiences and their reaction to it. We could not wish for more, except for a new van, a new car and a list of all the best indian take-aways for after the gigs. Oh! And a Strad.
We tried rehearsing a new song in a room on our Premier Inn yesterday, but it wasn't very satisfying. Worrying about making too much noise, and Vincent drumming on Roger's suitcase, and me with a mute on the Fiddle. We abandoned the idea and went out for a few beers and a curry. Day off. Lovely.
We will be recording a new cd during December so we're trying to rehearse material during the soundchecks. Not always possible but we must grab the time wherever we can. The challenge is trying to find ways of arranging these songs that suits the way we play. The easy option is to sing the song and play the chords. Not so easy to create something that goes way beyond that, giving us the chance to really play in the way we need to.
'The Hard Times Of Old England' is a song that we have been working on for a while now, and have at last found the way in to make it ours. We start the second set with it and I really look forward to playing and singing it. It took a while. Worth it though. I'm sure it will change a bit more before the end of the tour.
So that's it from me for now.
See you on tour somewhere.
All the best,
Thursday 3rd April 2014
'Lipreading The Poet' In Stock Again.'
'Listed by The Wire as one of the Best 15 Global Albums of 2009'
Gigspanner's debut cd 'Lipreading The Poet' , which has been unavailable for a while, has had a second pressing and you can now order a copy from our shop by clicking the link HERE
Tuesday 1st April 2014
'An Ancient Cause' Re-release, Plus Two Bonus Tracks.'
The remastered re-release of 'An Ancient Cause' is now available from my on-line shop, and will also be available at gigs of course.
I have been working with Edd Blakeley on remastering the album, and with the intervening 23 years of advancement in technology, it sounds better than ever.
Tim Harries came over to the States and worked on it with me and his playing is superb. Although Tim has guested with Gigspanner quite recently, I had forgotten just how beautifully he played on this CD.
There are two bonus tracks. 'From A Lullaby Kiss' and an instrumental version of 'She Moved Through The Fair'.
During Gigspanner's most recent tour, I decided to perform a recently composed solo piece called 'From a Lullaby Kiss'. As a result, many people asked for a recorded version. It will be included on my next solo album, but in the meantime here is a version, accompanied by a film from Perrine Nouvier.
Although some of the tracks also appear on 'Doors At Eight', the versions are very different.
Wednesday 25th September 2013
Two New Youtube Videos.
A couple of new Youtube videos have recently emerged that are worth a mention.
The first one is a nine and a half minute improvisation, and was captured by phone on a soundcheck in the Church of Saint Jean, Najac, on our recent French tour. You can hear, but not see, Roger, and the reason for that is explained underneath the video.
The second video, Too Late for Shadows', was recorded during our summer UK tour when we played at Saint Gergory's Centre for Music Canterbury. We were joined by Marion Fleetwood (Colvin Quarmby), who had opened the concert, which was hosted by Folk in the Barn.
Sunday 3rd March 2013
The Gigspanner tour finished last night in Bury. What a great trio this is. Roger, Vincent and myself constantly say how lucky we are to have a musical outlet like this.
The pressisng thought for us now is a new CD. It will be another studio recording.
Sunday 10th February 2013
Every now and again it's nice to welcome friends to play some music with us, so it's with a smile that I write to tell you that my friend, and former member of Steeleye, Tim Harries, will be joining us when we play at Huntingdon Hall Worcester this coming Friday Feb 15th, 2013. I'm still smiling and Friday can't come soon enough. Do try and get along to this gig if you can. It will be special.
Another friend, Marion Fleetwood, will be joining us at Farnsfield Acoustic on Saturday 16th Feb 2013. Marion plays Violin and Cello with Colvin Quarmby. She is a great singer and full of music. Marion is a relatively new friend to us, but it feels as though she has been part of our life for a long time. We haven't played together before so we are all looking forward to the gig.
I can see where all this is heading. The big band.
Thursday 17th January 2013
New Single Release 'Mad Tom of Bedlam'.
Due to popular demand, we have decided to release our version of this song.
It is available for download from CD Baby by clicking HERE.
Saturday 8th December 2012
Peter Knight's Gigspanner T.Shirts Now Available To Buy Online HERE
Tuesday 6th September 2012
Our Tour De France
What a great time we've had. All good news. Good food, wine, music and some new friends. Just the five gigs, but we will definitely do it again next year.
Most of our audience were of course Brits who now live in France, and some did come over from the UK to see us. The French people that came to the gigs loved the music, and I did my best to introduce some of the songs in French, with a bit of help from Vincent here and there.
The first concert was filmed by Perrine Nouvier for her channel CREUSE TV and we have yet to check it out to see if it could be worth releasing.
Below is a link to a youtube clip of that first concert, with the sound recorded from the camera. As with every concert, we did record the audio so we do have a good quality sound track if needed. The venue in the video is the Salle Des Fêtes, St. Pierre Cherignat.
Here it is.
Wednesday 6th June 2012
Thoughts From A Shortening Life, June 2012
So every now and then, my lovely wife Deborah suggests that it’s TIME for me to step out of my world of music , and to enter the world of modern day publicity by writing something for t’internet. I mean for my website or Gigspanner’s site, forums etc. etc.
As you have probably guessed by my output in that direction, it’s something that I find an intrusion, although at the same TIME understanding that it’s part of being a working musician in these TIMES.
I don’t want to sound mean or ungrateful towards people who read what musicians have to say with great interest, or in any way diminish the part that audiences play in my profession. Without audiences, musicians would not have gigs. But my life is shorter than it was a minute ago, so TIME is even more precious than it was 15 seconds ago.
Rushing on, I suppose I must be a bit old fashioned when it comes to my privacy in both my private and professional life. On gigs for instance, when I go out on a stage to play music, I have deliberately and knowingly put myself there. When I am in a dressing room before a gig, preparing to play, that place is private, unless I choose otherwise. The reason I mention this is that at a Steeleye gig not so long ago, there was a man with a video camera filming me backstage. I told him to leave immediately. He explained that Park records had hired him to take some footage backstage.
Of course it’s normal to want to know what’s going on behind the scenes. That’s what journalists do. People stick webcams up all over the place and let the world look in.
I am very happy to share the music I play with a listening audience, and very happy make cds and do the odd bit of teaching. What I’m not very good at is to sit down and write something about myself, or what I thought of the last tour for instance. The last tour is no longer relevant to my life. My thoughts on music are constantly changing. My basic relationship with music may remain the same, but my thought processes are always shifting and turning, causing me to question everything I have thought and said before, especially what I have just said during the last ten minutes.
To quickly conclude, TIME is the luxury. I will be selfish with my TIME because it’s mine, and the TIME I give away must be given generously and genuinely and without resentment. I do give away TIME from TIME to TIME, but if I said ‘Yes’ to everyone and everything that wants my TIME, I would have none left for myself. With no TIME for myself I couldn’t make music, and then no one would want my TIME.
At last. I have found an answer.
Isn’t life wonderful?
Wednesday 18th January 2012
A Thought Bubble From Vincent , January 2012
I have just returned home from an island which lies opposite Miami in Florida, where the only music I heard was the lapping of waves on the shore, and song from rather beautiful and colourful birds.
After two weeks, my drummers tapping affliction subsided and I stopped looking for potential surfaces that I could make a noise on. In fact, I started speaking a strange language instead, which is a language made up of all the sounds of the hand drums I have been fortunate to play to date. This could loosely be called beat boxing, except I do not have the sounds of the drum kit, which this term comes from.
I did have one musical encounter in Miami with a ‘conguero’. This man had left Cuba when Castro came to power, and his father told him to never return. His father was incarcerated as a political prisoner and unfortunately died, so he never saw him again. This conguero had survived in Miami by becoming an accountant, a collector of Cuban art and traditional drums.
He told me many stories of famous percussionists who have inspired me over the years. The stories unfortunately were sad like his own story. The percussionists had lost their way in their personal lives, losing friends and the trust of their fellow musicians. In fact, their musical journeys had tumbled into either playing only religious music (for their retribution and salvation maybe) or only playing out on the street to earn money for surviving on a day to day basis.
I did not play for long with the conguero as the atmosphere was not conducive to playing spontaneous music. His wife (who was not Cuban) did not enjoy the sound of drums! She also could not understand why he needed 15 pairs of congas. He remarked that he didn't stop her buying a new pair of shoes every week...(aargh, the war of the sexes!) It was time to leave and go listen to the birds again.
This encounter made me reflect on the fact that good music only comes from good communication with fellow musicians. The percussionists who had fallen from the top, fell because of their personal problems which meant that nobody could work with them, and their their talent was not to be shared with the world.
Since I have been back, I have been playing every day, and have been applying myself to put all those drum sounds in my head back onto the skins where they belong.
As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I feel blessed to have a partner who understands the need of a musician to play their instrument, and blessed to play with musicians who have no problem communicating their ideas.
I am looking forward to hearing and playing with what comes out that bread oven, and what comes out of Rogers guitar, when we are back on the road.
Happy new year everyone,
Tuesday 2nd January 2012
News From The Bread Oven, January 2012
Happy new year everyone. Peter here.
I am about to go into my studio to work on some new material for Gigspanner. Always a bit strange trying to imagine where it should go now. Last year was great, and this year has to be better. Or worse. But it does have to be different.
My view is that if we do more of the same without trying to push the boundaries a bit, there is a good chance that we will not give the music what is required to make it live.
I am not completely comfortable talking about myself and what I am doing. I do understand that people are interested, and as I am doing now, I am trying to write something that may be of interest, without just listing a few facts about work in progress. If I was good at this, I would not have been a musician. I would have been a writer, publicist, or a Poet. "Read my lips" said the Butterfly.
You see, that's what happens. I begin by trying to write something about Gigspanner and the material that needs to be sorted, and end up on that circular thought process that is the workings of my mind. Hardly fit for the news page on a website. I wil ask Roger and Vincent to jot some thoughts down. That way, you will probably be able to sift through the ramblings and gain some facts.
Anyway. I'm going in. That room where I turn on the recording gear and make a fool of myself when no one is listening. Where it will lead I have no idea. Hopefully something will emerge that excites, and will go on to be a piece of music that can develop and become part of our lives for now at least. Who knows? I may decide that today is not the day that my head and heart will join in holy matromony to marry together the ideas and thoughts that pour from me. Maybe nothing will pour. Something might trickle out.
It may be a good day. A tune - A song - An idea - A bass line.
The bottom line is, I should be in there now instead of writing this. Maybe I'll just set this to music and call it a day.
To the bread oven.
Bread Oven Studio
Tuesday 8th November 2011
Festival News 2012
We are pleased to announce that Gigspanner has been invited to perform at the Village Pump Festival on July 22nd 2012. Further information HERE
Before that however, Gigspanner will be appearing at the first Fiddle Festival of Britain which takes place over the weekend of June 29th - July 1st 2012.
Peter recently had the honour of being appointed Patron of the Festival.
In addition to performing with Gigspanner at the festival, Peter will also be leading a Masterclass.
Full information about the Festival can be found HERE
Tuesday 8th November 2011
Gigspanner will Eat A Curry In Birmingham Tomorrow Night.
Wednesday 21st September 2011
Interview With Peter
Peter recently had a chat with Emma Hartley of the Glamour Cave blog. The interview can be read here:
The big new of course is the new CD 'Doors At Eight'.
Next would have to be how much we have enjoyed our recent tour during May 2011. The gigs have been as good as any in the past, and it doesn't get any better than going out to play a gig, and coming away feeling that everyone there, band and audience, has had a worthwhile musical experience.
I am always reluctant to say that I have played well. In one respect it can be the kiss of death thinking such things. On the other, there are times when I feel quietly fullfilled by the realisation that the music I have just played came from the best in me.
Roger and Vincent, once this website is up and running, will add their thoughts and feelings from time to time. Early days to say how this site will develop as time passes.
For now, I will think about what may be of interest to those who are interested in this band's music, and how best to involve you in our musical interests.