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Interview - Peter Knight

Peter Knight Interview

There’s never been a better time to experience live folk music, especially when the band in question has just released an incredible new album. This month sees Steeleye Span’s legendary fiddle player Peter Knight bring his talented trio Gigspanner to the Bournemouth Folk Club at the Shelley Theatre on Saturday, 18 November.

Peter has accrued a lifetime’s worth of accolades across a career spanning two folk revivals and is excited about this new breed.

Peter told The Bournemouth Folk Club: “The folk scene at the moment is truly buzzing with all sorts. I think it’s great.”

“Some of the young musicians are superb, exploring their talents and interests to the full, and lots of my friends who I have known for years are still out there doing it, including myself. It’s never been better,” adds Peter, 70.

With Gigspanner, Peter will be joined by guitarist Roger Flack and percussionist Sacha Trochet, who are both intelligent and powerful musicians in their own right. 

On their forthcoming UK tour the trio are launching their latest studio album, The Wife of Urban Law. Early reviews have been unanimous in their praise of its uniqueness, and the words imaginative, unorthodox, inventive, captivating and beautiful have been common denominators.

“Folk music is all about bringing people together to sing a song or play a tune, and although there is a high cuisine of music and musicians, I think it is worth remembering the essence and the worth of our traditional folk music. I am not a purist, and I’m pleased that all the music that is out there, for whatever reason, is good news. It’s there for us to choose what we want to listen to or play. Choices are good.”

The Bournemouth Folk Club audience will be treated to the full Gigspanner experience.

“People are always saying that our gigs are never the same because the music is ever-changing within the arrangements. We put it together that way.

“The Bournemouth Folk Club can expect an evening of good music. Gigspanner performs some of my best loved songs in a way that feels good to us. Folk clubs have always been and still are the backbone of our heritage in terms of keeping the music alive and to play the clubs is always good. Traditional music belongs to us. For now.”

Gigspanner’s musical reach flirts with Eastern European, French, Cajun, African and even Aboriginal influences that captivate audiences. According to Peter, it’s these wide-ranging influences that inform the Gigspanner sound.

“The world is full of the most amazing and beautiful music and we are so lucky in our time to be able to have easy access to it. I am inspired and heartened by lots of music and musicians, including a few of my peers, and I will always seek out those whose music touches me deeply.

“I can appreciate well-written pop songs and those who have crafted a stage act in order to entertain, but I am inspired by those who always put the music first. We are the carriers for the music,” he added.

The advent of Gigspanner has introduced a whole new audience to the extraordinary musicianship of Peter Knight, a violinist whom many consider to be in a league of his own. The late author Sir Terry Pratchett in praising Peter's gift wrote with typical lyricism "Peter Knight can spin the world on his bow."

You can see Gigspanner at the Bournemouth Folk Club on Saturday, 18 November at the Shelley Theatre. For more information and tickets, visit bournemouthfolkclub.com or shelleytheatre.co.uk

Patrick Gough.

Website Arthouse