Gigspanner Big Band
“They don’t play together often, but when they do it’s spectacular” 5***** R2 Magazine
The Gigspanner Big Band 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 Roots, 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 line-up has been expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin – BBC Folk Awards ‘Best Duo’) and Bellowhead co-founder and melodeon player extraordinaire, John Spiers, joining the fray. As collaborations go, it doesn’t get much more mouth-watering than this!
While Peter Knight, as part of Steeleye Span’s classic 1970s line-up, helped invent a brand of folk rock that is still influential today, John Spiers, has had an equally profound impact on the landscape of traditional music over the last two decades.
Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, this coming together of several of the biggest names on the folk-roots scene, combines a deep knowledge of roots traditions with a ceaselessly boundary pushing approach.
Taking self-penned material along with music rooted in the British Isles and beyond, with the flick of a bow, a finely chosen chord or slip of a beat, they produce richly atmospheric arrangements layered within a wealth of subliminal musical influences “with notes seemingly plucked from the stars and rhythms from the equator” Spiral Earth
Unsurprisingly, the superlatives have come thick and fast…
“One of the best live bands you are likely to see this year, or any year for that matter” Folk Radio UK
“True creativity speaks to the heart and entertains the mind with fresh ideas and images, and what brilliant entertainment this is. Knight has a knack for identifying the essence of a tune or song, pulling it apart and presenting it back to you in a way that surprises and refreshes. Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry simply make sublime music that has an otherworld of undercurrents and motifs woven through it. Put them all together and some alchemical magic occurs” 5***** Spiral Earth
“Totally blown away by the spellbinding Gigspanner Big Band set at Cropredy. Lost for words…” Folking. com
“What a fabulous team they make, together producing a startlingly new musical form form with few, if any, antecedents, even within the hallowed world of prog and folk-rock. The flights of musical fancy are staggering in their natural invention” Fatea Magazine