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LIVE AT OXFORD

Gordon Giltrap

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Gordon Giltrap Live At Oxford album cover
4.00 | 4 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Live, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Awakening
2. Robes & Crowns
3. Quest
4. The Deserter
5. Fast Approaching
6. Catwalk Blues
7. Roots 1 & 2
8. Night Rider
9. Inner Dream
10. Fear Of The Dark
11. Visitation
12. Heartsong
13. Lucifer's Cage


Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Rod Edwards - Keyboards, Vocals
Gordon Giltrap - Guitar
John Gustafson - Bass
Ian Mosley - Drums
Shirley Roden - Vocals
Eddie Spence - Keyboards

Releases information

1981 Cube Label LP - ICS 1001
2000 La Cooka Ratcha / Voiceprint LCVP115 CD re issue

Recorded live at Oxford Poly on 9 March 1979

Thanks to b_olariu for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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Fear of the DarkFear of the Dark
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GORDON GILTRAP Live At Oxford ratings distribution


4.00
(4 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
0%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(100%)
100%
Good, but non-essential (0%)
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Collectors/fans only (0%)
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GORDON GILTRAP Live At Oxford reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Fast approaching

This excellent live album can be summed up in a single sentence: Some of Gordon Giltrap's best and most memorable tunes from his three best and most progressive albums, performed with more energy and with more of an edge compared to the studio versions with a great band backing him up. When this live concert was recorded in the late 70's, Giltrap was at the peak of his progressive period and had just released three good studio albums in Visionary, Perilous Journey, and Fear Of The Dark. So there was never a better time for him to record a live album and the result is a very good introduction to Gordon Giltrap.

Apart from Giltrap himself, the band consists of no less than two keyboard players in Rod Edwards and Eddie Spence, John Gustafson (who was also part of the Ian Gillan Band) on bass, and Ian Mosley (who also played with Steve Hackett and later became a member of Marillion) on drums. While most of the show is instrumental, there are a few numbers with Shirley Roden on vocals. The parts on which she sings lead remind me of the band Renaissance. The similarities with that band on these parts are particularly strong due to the combination of the music's being driven by acoustic guitar and piano, backed up by a rhythm section of electric bass and drums. Add to that a female vocalist in a somewhat similar style to Annie Haslam, singing songs with folky as well as Symphonic aspects.

But there are also many electronic keyboards used and Giltrap alternates here between acoustic and electric guitars to great effect. His acoustic guitar playing is the most impressive and he showcases very well his trademark acoustic style (that influenced among others Ritchie Blackmore's acoustic playing). Giltrap's speed and accuracy is incredible, and he plays even the most complex and fast parts with such ease and makes not the slightest mistake. But unlike some other technically skilled guitar players, he never lets technicality overshadow the often gorgeous melodies. His electric guitar playing is less distinctive, but is an essential ingredient in the overall sound. Also, though Giltrap is the star, he does not steal the show and allows the whole band to shine.

Live At Oxford is a fine addition to many a Prog fan's collection

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#941501) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars A live performance for essentially a solo guitarist always raises the question of faithful sound reproduction. For instance, GORDON GILTRAP plays both electric and acoustic guitar very well. Does he go with an additional guitarist to complement or at least not cramp his style? What of other instrumentation like sax which he occasionally hires? Should vocals be introduced for variety? On "Live at Oxford" GILTRAP makes several brilliant choices - hiring a competent backing rock band, continuing to play all guitars himself, engaging a female vocalist, and utilizing keyboards and vocals to fill some of the additional guitar and brass sounds. How he implements these decisions results in a show and a resulting album that plays to his strengths while rendering his shortcomings moot.

In some sense this virtuoso's work is best suited to the live setting, since his primary talent is in playing and, to some extent, arranging, as opposed to composition. Luckily his skill is exposed in a measured fashion throughout. The main source of material is "Fear of the Dark", the most recent album at the time of the concert, and it would be hard to imagine that those tracks represented here are not more fully realized than the studio versions. This is especially the case for the epic "Visitation" and the suspenseful "Fear of the Dark", both of which benefit from the sultry expressive vocals of SHIRLEY RODEN. Still, the best example of this adaptive spirit and of Roden's power is in "The Deserter"; originally an instrumental on "Perilous Journey", it is re-invented as a spacey lyrical piece with Roden's vocals replacing sax and some pointed guitar leads. I had never heard of Roden so has to look her up, and found that her limited credits include several prog artists including MICHAEL MOORCOCK, MIKE OLDFIELD and DAVID GILMOUR.

As is standard for Giltrap, none of the material or the performances are weak but here the energy of the live setting and the commitment to the team concept contribute equally to what could be the most suitable introduction to Gitrap for prog fans. I have not heard the prior three albums in their entirety but "Live at Oxford" seems to be cut from a different cloth.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#998905) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 15, 2013

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