PETER KNIGHT’S GIGSPANNER live at Forest Arts, New Milton

Peter Knight's Gigspanner
Photograph by Dai Jeffries

30th March 2017

During Vincent Salzfaas’ enforced absence from this tour, Peter Knight’s Gigspanner have replaced him with not one but two percussionists. On duty tonight was Gary Hammond of The Beautiful South and The Hut People – he’s got quite a track record – but the question remained: how would it sound? During the opening ‘She Moved Through The Fair’ the percussion was low and suitably sombre and it seemed that Gary isn’t as flamboyant as Vincent but during the course of the evening he proved that he has a huge arsenal of techniques and tricks to produce an extraordinary range of tones from a simple set-up.

Gary’s kit consists of two congas, a djembele and a cajon which concealed other items of interest including a modern version of a bullroarer which introduced the closing ‘Sharp Goes Walkabout’. Peter looks terribly fearsome these days – my first thought was “magisterial” superseded by “vengeful god” – and Roger Flack remains his imperturbable self and has now added a kick-drum and what seems to be a small synthesiser to his set up. And the music – the music rolls on evolving with every performance.

Second on the set-list was ‘Seagull’, now a far cry from the rather slight song that Steeleye Span recorded, followed by ‘Peggy And The Soldier’ and ‘The Blackbird’. While Peter went off to find a chair for the latter Roger and Gary indulged in a little settling into the groove. I probably haven’t said it often enough but I do enjoy Roger’s guitar playing and always look forward to his solos. ‘Too Late For Shadows’ opened with three solos; first Gary, then Peter and finally Roger with Peter joining in to bring the trio back together. The first set closed with the “bonny Biscay” version of ‘The Wraggle-Taggle Gypsies Oh’ which is where the kick-drum came in. It was almost folk-rock!

Part two began with ‘Hard Times Of Old England’, ‘Bows Of London’ and the erstwhile opener, ‘The Butterfly’, before ‘Bold Riley’, which we might presume is destined to appear on the band’s next album (due before the end of the year, in case you’re wondering). To highlight the evolution of Gigspanner’s music, take ‘Louisiana Flack’. Familiarity may be breeding contempt but Peter doesn’t look anywhere near as worried as he used too and has even taken to moving about to make Roger follow him. Roger seems to be ever more confident and, as far as I know, it never ends in tears.

The encore was ‘King Of The Fairies’ and everyone left feeling very happy. The final date of the tour is tonight in Alfriston with two percussionists. As Gary observed – “Drumspanner!”.

Dai Jeffries

Artists’ website: http://www.gigspanner.com/index.html

‘Hard Times Of Old England’ – official video:

THE HUT PEOPLE – Routes (Fellside FECD280)

RoutesThe Hut People are an English instrumental duo, Sam Pirt and Gary Hammond. Routes is their fourth studio album on the Fellside label. Both are experienced musicians with and the list of artists they have worked with would grace any music festival – it includes Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon Shannon, Jez Lowe, The Beautiful South and Nina Simone. Sam Pirt is an accordionist who brings melodies from across the globe and Gary Hammond a percussionist with an equally eclectic variety of instruments and rhythms. Together they form a duo which has been exciting audiences since their first album was released in January 2010. Swaledale Festival have described them as “The only band to have been asked back eight times consecutively – because they’re so good!”

The Hut People’s inspiration is a diverse as their music. Routes opens with ‘Humours of Tulla’, a reel they found in Belgium and is followed by ‘Gumboot’ with its inspiration from mine workers in Apartheid South Africa. ‘The Whitby Drip’ is inspired by the toilet cistern at Whitby Pavilion, the drip recorded so it could later be used as the rhythm to build a tune around. In print you might think that wouldn’t work but you only need to watch the video to see the skill that the duo bring to their music and how well the percussion and accordion complement each other – even in a shed

Several of the songs on Routes (‘Gumboot’, ‘The Cage’ and ‘Sweet Nightingale’) were inspired by a visit to the Pitmen’s Painters exhibition. ‘Polka Chinois’ and ‘Disfarces/Dis Found Harmonium’ are from campsite and fire lit sessions – and if you were on the campsite at a festival you’d want to go across and listen. ‘Fanta’ is another original composition, this one created in a cupboard in Portugal at the Costa Del Folk festival. The album closes with ‘Molnbyggen’, a slower traditional tune.

Routes is an album which lovers of traditional folk should enjoy for the audacity of some of the playing and arrangements. But while the album is grounded in British traditional folk music, it pulls in influences from around the world. With its inspiration from toilet cisterns to apartheid via European tunes and The Hut People’s unique blend of accordion and percussion, this should appeal to a wider audience. There are plenty of opportunities to get a sense of the duo’s stage presence, with twenty or so gigs between now and Easter.

Mike Wistow

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the The Hut People link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

DOWNLOAD – [CD]

Artist’s website: https://www.thehutpeople.com

‘Tsuiluikka’ at Songs From The Shed:

The Hut People announce their fourth album

The Hut People

This month The Hut People release their fourth studio album on the Fellside label entitled Routes. Tunes forging pathways and routes underground; across oceans and traversing motorways. Infectious melodies and foot-tapping rhythms packed into containers laden with grooves from South Africa, Quebec and across the globe; North, South, East and West. Paths taken were long and plenty, tunes plucked and worked on in disparate places. ‘Humours of Tulla’ was found in Belgium with their feet in a paddling pool; ‘Gumboot’, ‘The Cage’ and ‘Sweet Nightingale’ garnered after a visit to the Pitmen Painter’s exhibition in Durham. ‘The Whitby Drip’ pit patted into their heads after a visit to the loo at Whitby Pavilion, ‘Disfarces’ from a campsite in Beverley, ‘Dis Found Harmonium’ and ‘Polka Chinois’ from fire lit folk sessions and the delightful musical partnership of Wood/Cutting. ‘Fanta’ was created in a cupboard in Portugal, ‘The Maid’s Stomach’ bouncing with ‘Honking Pigs’ and ‘Brighton Camp’ with its nod to reggae and maypole dancing in Goole. ‘Dinkies’ was filtered and finished in a church in Bristol before they let Sam take them off to Sweden for a soft landing. Many paths trodden, much squeezing and hitting along the way, open the container and peer inside!

Champions of the standing ovation, The Hut People are rapidly gaining more and more of a reputation as one of the hottest and most entertaining world/folk acts touring today. Taking the audience on a voyage across the globe with their material, they perform a high-octane unique blend of home-grown tunes mixed with British, Nordic and European folk music, perfectly formed and embellished with the driving accordion and a mind-boggling array of exotic percussion.

Accordionist Sam Pirt has performed as a member of 422 (previous Radio 2 Folk awards winners) and is a very experienced musician who is well established within the folk circuit. Sam has in the past performed alongside Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon Shannon, Jez Lowe, Brian Finnegan, Brian McNeill and many others. He is also the founder of Ethno England.

Percussionist Gary Hammond has for the past 16 years recorded and toured with The Beautiful South. He has also worked with Nina Simone and has frequently been a part of many other groups and collaborations within the World, Jazz and Pop genres.

Their first studio album was released in January 2010 entitled Home Is Where The Hut Is and in 2012 their second album Picnic was released to critical acclaim and a raft of good reviews and much airplay. 2014 would see Cabinet Of Curiosities released, once again gaining rave reviews and plenty of airplay worldwide.

Their live show is like nothing you’ve ever seen before – expect feel-good dancing tunes, audience participation, step dancing, Quebecois foot-percussion (whilst playing the accordion!) and humour aplenty. This is high-octane feel-good music from a very likeable duo that have the ability to get the whole audience involved and loving it – before the end of the first tune!

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the The Hut People link to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

DOWNLOAD – [CD]

Artists’ website: www.thehutpeople.co.uk

Live at The Ram Club:

 

The Hut People – new album

Hut PeopleLast month saw the highly anticipated release of Cabinet Of Curiosities, the new studio album from the eclectic folk/world duo The Hut People. To best describe the new album, who better than one half of the duo Gary Hammond:

We did a gig at the Hay Festival and the barman saw all of the gear onstage and said this is like a museum, a cabinet of curiosity and that’s how we got the title. We love museums and are always visiting them; I suppose the tracks on the album are like our collection that we have discovered over the last couple of years. We have ventured into tune writing ourselves but there is nothing like discovering something and re-arranging it in a Hut style. We have tracks from Scotland, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, England, Latvia and the Basque country. An eclectic mix just as you would find in a cabinet in a museum!”

Champions of the standing ovation, The Hut People are rapidly gaining more and more of a reputation as one of the hottest & most entertaining world/folk acts touring today. Taking the audience on a voyage across the globe with their material, they perform a high-octane unique blend of home-grown tunes mixed with British, Nordic and European folk music, perfectly formed and embellished with the driving accordion and a mind-boggling array of exotic percussion.

Accordionist Sam Pirt also performs with 422 (previous Radio 2 Folk awards winners) and is a very experienced musician who is well established within the folk circuit. Sam has in the past performed alongside Kathryn Tickell, The Dubliners, Sharon Shannon, Jez Lowe, Brian Finnegan, Brian McNeill and many others. He is also the founder of Ethno England.

Percussionist Gary Hammond has for the past 12 years recorded and toured with The Beautiful South. He has also worked with Nina Simone and has frequently been a part of many other groups and collaborations within the world, jazz and pop genres.

Their first studio album was released in January 2010 Entitled Home Is Where The Hut Is and in 2012 their second album Picnic was released to critical acclaim and a raft of good reviews and much airplay.

Taking the audience on a musical journey around the World, English instrumental duo The Hut People have over the last three years proved to be one of THE most unique, entertaining and best-loved acts on the UK folk scene today. Mixing global rhythms with folk tunes from Quebec to Spain, Scandinavia to Sussex and everywhere in between, this is a quirky celebration of our rich musical heritage – and it works so well!

This is a show like nothing you’ve ever seen before – expect feel-good dancing tunes, audience participation, step dancing, Quebecois foot-percussion (whilst playing the accordion!) and humour aplenty. This is high-octane feel-good music from a very likeable duo that have the ability to get the whole audience involved and loving it – before the end of the first tune!

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artists’ website: www.thehutpeople.co.uk

“The festival season is nearly upon us, and with The Hut People gracing many of this year’s bashes, their infectious ‘World Folk’ will surely be winning them many new fans” Songlines

“This is a brilliantly unique sound – a duo of piano accordion and percussion defiantly unbounded by British traditions as they stride into world music.” The Scotsman

“The only band to have been asked back 7 times consecutively – because they’re so good!” Swaledale Festival