On Tuesday 8th
March at 8:30pm, ten guitarists of all different types of guitar battled it out
in the Silk Hall to take home the Guitar Prize at the end of the evening. The
event was kindly adjudicated by the hugely talented, highly-esteemed Neil Fairclough,
who went on tour as a bass guitarist for Queen.
The classical guitarists
started the evening with five incredible acts. Felix Barbour played a
particularly good piece called Etude No.6 by Leo Brouwer. He used clever
finger-work and stunned the audience as he sped up the notes played. Following
the classical guitarists was George Parsons playing the electric bass. He
played the theme from Seinfeld by Jonathan Wolff. This was a lively piece
played very well with a backing track on the speakers. He had amazing stage
presence and was clearly very passionate about the song and the instrument.
Finally, the electric
guitarists played. John Bruce-Gardner kicked the electric guitarists category
off playing Scuttle Buttin’ by Stevie Ray Vaughan. He had the audience
mesmerised by his performance until his guitar strap fell off. As this
happened, Neil Fairclough jumped up and said” I’ll distract them” to John and
whilst John was putting his strap back on, Mr Fairclough pointed to the back
saying, “Look over there.” This gave John enough time to recover and he played
the rest of the piece so well, it was remarkable how well he recovered.
Max Armfield followed
this performance by playing a song by Eddie Van Halen on a guitar he built
himself. His guitar solo was hugely impressive. It was exciting to watch and
technically amazing. Luka Jibuti concluded the evening with a piece he made up
himself the day of the competition called ‘All over Again.’ Mr Mathews kindly
assisted Luka on the bass guitar. Luka used a mixture of chords and finger
techniques to successfully captivate the audience. The audience’s enthusiastic
claps to finish his performance showed how enthralled in the piece they were.
Neil Fairclough had to
make a difficult decision, considering the talent shown throughout the evening.
He awarded Felix Barbour the winner of the classical guitarists, George Parsons
the winner of the electric bass guitarists and Max Armfield the winner of the
electrical guitarists, although Luka JIbuti closely followed, according to Mr
Fairclough. All the winners deserved their prizes. A huge congratulation to all
the participants and a massive thank you to Neil Fairclough for generously
Report and Pictures by Tom Whitbread, A Social