Pete Gardiner is back and he’s definitely channelling his inner gunslinger; this time he’s shooting whiskey and honesty and he’s got something to say. New single ‘Bourbon and the Truth’ still boasts the searingly honest lyricism that defines Gardiner’s music but this time it’s complemented by a driving old country backbeat that screams Marty Stuart or early Cash…we are even treated to the sound of a spaghetti western style gunshot.
For those that know the music of Blair Jollands, one of it’s many qualities is the scale, the cinematic approach, the layering of intricacy that make up the whole. And so the chance to see Blair reproduce this in an intimate, stripped back gig is the chance of a lifetime but also holds a little fear. Will the music that feels so beautifully produced, so minutely detailed hold up to the broader brush strokes of something more acoustic?
Blair Jollands moved to London 20 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand where he learned to master records before taking that skill to an audio post production studio in Soho. Since then he has completed sound design in film and TV with credits that include ‘Poldark’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Pride’. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on ‘Shackleton’ in 2002 and has garnered praise for his songwriting from none other than the late, great David Bowie who described one of Blair’s compositions, ‘Killing Landings’ as “ a great song”.
To review a festival like Cornbury is almost impossible. Back by popular demand after calling it a day last year, organiser Hugh Phillimore had enlisted headliners UB40, Alanis Morissette and the superb Squeeze. Like any festival it’s always going to be the tale of music that I saw, the tale of my personal journey from stage to stage, the tale of what made the weekend special for me.