Peter Knight’s Gigspanner are a unique force in British folk music. Their high-energy, virtuosic performances appeal equally to traditionalists and to those looking for something more experimental, and they have garnered praise from publications as varied as fRoots, The Telegraph and The Wire, where they were described as ‘melodically folk-rooted yet open and innovative beyond the constraints of genre.’
Beginning life as a trio – with former Steeleye Span fiddle player Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack – the live lineup was soon expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin joining the fray. Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, their first tour together was captured wonderfully on 2017 album Live, and saw them ‘taking folk music down new and enthralling paths.’ (FRUK)
Now, after a fortuitous meeting at the FolkEast Festival, Knight has enlisted the considerable talents of melodeon and concertina player John Spiers, something of a folk superstar in his own right. In Knight’s words, ‘John is an extraordinary musician… a great and sensitive player.’ Knight’s excitement at the new venture is evident, and it says much about the nature of his musical outlook that, after half a century of innovation, he is still as willing as ever to move in bold new directions.
As collaborations go, it does not get much more mouthwatering than this. While Knight, as part of Steeleye Span’s classic 1970s lineup, helped invent a brand of folk rock that is still influential today, Spiers, a founder-member of Bellowhead, has had an equally profound impact on the landscape of traditional music over the last two decades.
Spiers is set to join the rest of the Big Band for the entirety of their forthcoming November tour, and to make matters even more exciting every show will be recorded to provide material for a brand new live album.
The tour offers a chance to experience one of the most significant collaborations in folk music’s recent history and the opportunity to hear all-new material from some of the most talented and respected musicians in the country.
“Totally blown away by the spellbinding Gigspanner Big Band…Lost for words” Folking.com
Artists’ website: http://www.gigspanner.com/
‘The Boy That Wouldn’t Hoe Corn’ – live:
27th The Apex, Bury St Edmunds
28th Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley, N Yorks
29th Victoria Hall, Settle
30th The Queen’s Hall, Hexham