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Gordon Giltrap: The Peacock Party / Airwaves

Two more remastered revisits to GG’s dexterous guitar explorations.

Cherry Red’s latest two remastered, expanded reissues take Esoteric’s count of Giltrap albums to eight.

The English guitarist, once the teen folk club prodigy, was well into his years of solo exploration before the end of the 1970s. The fleeting pop success of the _Heartsong _instrumental, from ’77’s Perilous Journey, had put a face to the name for many, and after Fear Of The Dark came the first of this pair, 1979’s The Peacock Party, inspired by the eponymous book written by George E. Ryder. That party was held in a rock setting, opening on the robust Headwind – The Eagle, but Giltrap’s folk schooling gave it a pastoral inclination, and there are often classical and Hispanic hues on view. Keyboard stabs from Rod Edwards run across the piece, with Giltrap’s dexterity sometimes set to dramatic synth-strings and horns, as on _Turkey Trot – _A Country Bluff. Airwaves, from ’82, began as a library music project, but emerged so strongly that it became a fully-fledged album credited to the Gordon Giltrap Band. Again it starts rocky, on Black Lightning, but the guitarist’s full range of textures is here, to charming effect. Four bonus tracks adorn each new edition. PS

Prog Magazine contributor Paul Sexton is a London-based journalist, broadcaster and author who started writing for the national UK music press while still at school in 1977. He has written for all of the British quality press, most regularly for The Times and Sunday Times, as well as for Radio Times, Billboard, Music Week and many others. Sexton has made countless documentaries and shows for BBC Radio 2 and inflight programming for such airlines as Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific. He contributes to Universal's uDiscoverMusic site and has compiled numerous sleeve notes for the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and other major artists. He is the author of Prince: A Portrait of the Artist in Memories & Memorabilia and, in rare moments away from music, supports his local Sutton United FC and, inexplicably, Crewe Alexandra FC.