Monday, August 11, 2008

Bert Jansch ****

I didn't even know of the existence of Bert Jansch prior to the Festival, but my mate was keen to see this solo acoustic guitar show from ex-member of folk supergroup (so it says on Wikipedia) Pentangle.

A quiet, unassuming character sitting on a chair underneath a single spotlight, Jansch proceeded to hold a capacity crowd at the Acoustic Music Centre spellbound for 90 minutes with his guitar mastery. Apparently hugely influential on a generation of guitarists (Neil Young and Johnny Marr rank amongst his celebrity fans), the set of gentle folk and blues numbers was captivating. Jansch's skill with the guitar is undisputed - his left hand moving spider-like across the fretboard, with his right picking out melody and rhythm from the strings. I'm no muso, but it was mightily impressive stuff.

Equally impressivlely, he also sang vocals to each number, only once during the encore making a mistake on his instrument, which he shrugged off affably and was immediately forgiven by a captivated audience.

Witnessing talent like this live is a privilege, and one of the many reasons the Festival is so enjoyable.

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