Sunday, 22 July 2007

REVIEW: Nigel Gavin

Words and Photo by Bill in NZ

Petone as location and the Wellington Bluegrass Society may not be the first things that come to your mind for music listening - but Saturday night that was the combination for the place to be to hear an astonishing NZ musical treasure in action.

And action it was. A guy with a guitar - some singing on a couple of songs, some patter and some stories, harmonica backing (by Lester Mundell) on two blues numbers. But for pure entertainment it was the fingers of Nigel Gavin doing the singing - the art of solo guitar music at its finest.

For most numbers the 7-string guitar was used, but also an 11 string fretless glissentar was in action on one song. Intricate and unbelievable finger picking and playing - great music for listening if you dared to keep eyes closed and ears open just to listen. But hard to not watch and just marvel at the fingers in action - and to wonder how he does it.

The music ranged in styles and origin, some blues, some jazz, most improvised on the night, some abstract, a few based on traditional melodies. Varied and imaginative - with the word virtuoso an understatement.

The concert was captured by Costa Botes on video (five cameras plus sound recording) - Costa produced last year's well-received "Struggle No More" music documentary on the Windy City Strugglers. For those of you unable to see Nigel in action - the concert video may be available later.

It's well worth a visit to Nigel's website to get a flavour of his talent and range of musical projects and inventiveness.

But the place to really visit is the next Nigel Gavin live concert - whether Nigel solo, or performing with others. Nigel is off to the USA in the near future, but will be back in New Zealand for touring later in the year - let's hope that includes Wellington.

for information on Nigel Gavin
for information on the Wellington Bluegrass Society

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