About Peter Knight's Gigspanner...
Peter Knight's Gigspanner is a trio formed by the iconic fiddle player best known for his ongoing 40 year association with Steeleye Span. In this 'extra-curricular' venture, Peter is joined by Roger Flack (Guitar) and Vincent Salzfaas (Conga’s/Djembe), both powerful and intelligent musicians in their own right.
As musician and author Andy Letcher observed, "with Gigspanner, Peter Knight adds another milestone to folk's rebirth of cool moment...he has put together a tight trio with which to let his playing fly.Stepping lightly through folk, classical, baroque and Jazz, Gigspanner produce music of intelligently crafted brilliance" (Songlines Magazine).
Their material has its roots in the traditional music of the British Isles, but also references Eastern European, African, French and even Aboriginal sources.
It is music played with a love that leaves audiences spellbound, without any reliance on catchy tunes or sing-along chorus’s. There is, as one fan wrote, “No grandstanding or show-boating, just three musicians supporting each other and providing a most memorable evening for the audience”(Thanks to Eric Underwood for permission to use extract from e-mail)
Within the context of Gigspanner, Peter exploits to the full his classical training (courtesy of The Royal Academy of Music), his extensive understanding of improvised music via his work with Danny Thompson and globally renowned sax player Trevor Watts, and of course his experience of playing traditional music during his forty year association with Steeleye Span.
He is without question one of the most musically flexible and emotive players around, and offers listeners a musical experience loaded with feeling.
"Despite being capable of string based fireworks", Guitarist Roger Flack has in the words of reviewer and Radio contributor Joshua Roberts "worked out the truth of the statement that less is more. In so many ways the band is built upon his solid and quiet presence". Roger’s musicality has been described as ‘fine and fluent’ and 'flawless', and his work with Gigspanner undoubtedly reflects his sensitivity and intuition as a performer within the area of improvisation.
Percussionist Vincent Salzfaas is, according to journalist Dai Jeffries “the man who makes Gigspanner different”. Although Vincent studied in Cuba and Senegal, he is not afraid of pushing the boundaries in applying his expertise within the other genres of Music, and his imaginative application of African techniques to the traditional tunes explored by Gigspanner is evidence of this.
Gigspanner’s Debut CD ‘Lipreading the Poet’ was named as one of the Top 15 Global CD’s of 2009 by ‘The Wire’ , a distinction that is indicative of the outstanding musicianship and commitment to originality that is the hallmark of their performances, and was described by R2/Rock 'n Reel magazine as 'Altogether gorgeous...music to sustain the spirit' (Dai Jeffries)
“The problem with starting out with a nigh-on perfect studio album is: what do you do next? Gigspanner have turned to what really matters to them – playing live” Dai Jeffries, R2/Rock n Reel
This live album, Doors at Eight' featuring most of their current (2011) set, has once again secured a string of impressive reviews from the press, all of which is proving to be grist to the mill for this Trio that no one can categorise, but which is universally accepted to be a real one-off...
“Gigspanner are marking out a distinctive zone of their own, melodically folk-rooted yet open and inventive beyond constraints of genre” Julian Cowley, The Wire
Gigspanner has already undertaken a handful of successful UK tours which has seen their fan base and reputation grow considerably over the past two years, and yet they still seem to be a ‘best kept secret’ to the folk/roots world at large due to the softly, softly approach that the band has opted for. A sea change appears to be under way….
What the people say:
“The Trio co-create a depth of multi-textured melody that belies the pared-down instrumental line-up. Exceptional stuff and not to be missed”
“Gigspanner are marking out a distinctive zone of their own, melodically folk-rooted yet open and inventive beyond constraints of genre”
Julian Cowley, The Wire
“Altogether gorgeous…music to sustain the spirit. Rarely have I heard such insistent calls for encores” Dai Jeffries, R2/Rock ‘n Reel magazine
“Heavenly music, truly inspiring and what it is all about. I have been to the well and feel nourished” Marion Fleetwood (Colvin Quarmby)
“With Gigspanner, Peter Knight has put together a tight trio with which to let his playing fly…stepping lightly through folk, classical, baroque and jazz, Gigspanner produce music of intelligently crafted brilliance”.
Andy Letcher, Songlines Magazine
"Peter Knight can spin the world on his Bow" Sir Terry Pratchett
“Brilliant, moving and inspiring” Chris Leslie, Fairport Convention