John Williams and John Etheridge

ISABEL COCKAYNE St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds (Bury Festival)


St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds (Bury Festival)

The two Johns' laid back appearance and approach to their guitars should not fool you.

These maestros are extremely serious about their music; floating effortlessly from their influences - jazz, classical, swing folk and world - Williams and Ethridge were truly a pleasure to hear.

The pair's playing is as if honey is being poured into your ears. They began with a sprightly African dance piece written by Francis Bebey to warm up, and both took turns to play chords to underpin the other's melody.

You could hear the lapping of the sea against the boats in Mitopia by Madagascan-born Rossy and Etheridge's Monti's Casino was pithy and sharp. Etheridge then took a solo which was beautiful and soulful although he joked it was soporific.

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Williams then took centre stage for two energetic Venezuelan tunes.

An adaptation usually played on 21 stringed instruments, the Kora was next, and even though the pair had just 12 strings between them they somehow easily replicated the 21 string Kora.

The set was free flowing and their easy manner and good humour demonstrated their vast experience.

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