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.