Guide#1 acoustic concert

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor Four of the acoustic/ambient musical talents featured on the EDP's recent Guide#1 CD joined forces to present an entertaining evening at King of Hearts in Norwich.

TREVOR HEATON, EDP Whats On Editor

Four of the acoustic/ambient musical talents featured on the EDP's recent Guide#1 CD joined forces to present an entertaining evening at King of Hearts in Norwich.

The intimate setting of the Music Room was a perfect foil for the artists, ambient guitarist Andy Butler, piano/vocal duo Alias Grace, singer-guitarist Lisa Redford, and singer-songwriter Tim Bowness.

The gig, the third in a series running over the past few days (the other two were at The Waterfront), was intended to showcase the more contemplative side of the Guide#1 promotional CD.

The evening opened with various chill-out compositions by Andy Butler, demonstrating what modern studio technology, one guy, and one guitar can achieve. But from the Fripp-esque Backwater (featured on the CD) to his variation on two Frank Zappa tunes, the guitarist never let hi-tech wizardry get in the way of melody.

The singer-songwriters then took over proceedings, beginning with Alias Grace – pianist Peter Chilvers and vocalist Sandra O'Neill.

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From the moment Irish vocalist Sandra began her yearning vocals on Feel The Hush, the audience was hushed and hanging on to every note. Chilvers's excellent piano playing was one of the highlights of the evening, being full of melody but never straying into showiness.

Norwich singer-guitarist Lisa Redford used the occasion to play songs from her debut acoustic CD, Carolina Rain, plus material from her forthcoming second album, including her Guide#1 contribution Turn Away. A polished and popular local performer, Lisa demonstrated the songwriting talent and her pure voice which has been winning her so many fans.

Tim Bowness arrived back in Norwich just in time to take part in the concert, having been touring with his band No-Man to Canada and Belgium. Some of his No-Man songs were featured (notably the title track from their fine new CD Together We're Stranger) but Bowness and pianist Peter Chilvers also took the opportunity to play some tracks from their own collaboration, the CD California, Norfolk.

Bowness' emotional intensity comes across very strongly on CD and, I'm pleased to report, is just as effective on stage, particularly on songs such as Things I Want To Tell You.

A fine gig, showing another facet of the great musical talent which exists right here on our doorstep.

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