London Acoustic Guitar Show, in association with Acoustic Magazine, was hosted at the Olympia Conference Centre, Earls Court, London. On Saturday 22nd-Sunday 23rd September 2012 guitar enthusiasts and music lovers were given the chance to see their favourite guitarists perform, learn a few tips in the process and be tempted to purchase a shiny new acoustic guitar and/or accessories.
“Saturday was the busiest day we have ever had! We had well over 1000 visitors, if not more!” exclaimed the smiling member of staff. I am not surprised. The event’s welcoming atmosphere meant you could easily enjoy your day; this is a contrast to the chaos found at other music events. The staff were both helpful and knowledgeable, while the day’s events were well-structured and clearly advertised in the free show guide. You could structure your day simply, from; visiting the guitar exhibitors, attending a masterclass to enjoying the relaxing Acoustic Cafe performers or watching the main stage artists. All of the events were within close walking distance, meaning you didn’t lose time walking to the next area. Always a plus!
The acoustic cafe provided the perfect environment to sit down and enjoy a refreshing beverage or delicacy and listen to the talented acoustic players of today. Delightful performances were given by; David Archer Trio, Polly Money and Stu Clark. These were not all of the musicians featured but the selection I had a pleasure of watching. David Archer Trio instantly seduced you with their jazzy rhythms and melodies, a Parisian delight. Polly Money’s performance was endearing and heartfelt, at the young age of seventeen years old she is set for success. First Steps was her last song filled with honesty and emotion, a really well-written piece. Finally, famous for his online tutorials and arrangements, internet sensation, Stu Clark, played a variety of covers, including: Bohemian Rhapsody, Every Breath You Take and When You Say Nothing At All.
The main stage was graced by extremely talented individuals, including (but not limited to); Sandi Thom, Grant Nicholas and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Sandi Thom’s performance was both professional and intimate. She played great covers, such as The Big Ones Get Away and November Rain and songs from her new, eagerly anticipated album, Flesh and Blood. Grant Nicholas, from Feeder was hypnotic to watch and his soft, whisper-like voice filled the auditorium: a very focused and calm performance from a worldwide, successful musician. Finally, Benjamin Francis Francis Leftwich gave an outstanding performance with his distinctive voice and cast a spell over the audience with his dreamy, folk like music. His performance was enigmatic and he played acoustic guitar how it is intended; quietly and without an amp. His husky, unique voice was both captivating and refreshing. His lyrical prose covered life’s themes such as friends, memories and love. He is definitely an artist worth a listen!
The final masterclass on Sunday was taken by none other than Gordon Giltrap; a highly-regarded and well respected musician, who both entertained and dazzled the crowd. His conversation was light and humorous and well received by the audience. A sheer delight to watch, his playing was outstanding. If you blinked you would surely miss the skill of Giltrap’s nimble fingers and the energy he gave on stage was electrifying.
The numerous exhibitor stands gave visitors plenty to choose from, with renowned acoustic brands such as; Taylor Guitars, AER, Lakewood Guitars, Elixir, Yamaha Guitars, Walden Guitars and so forth. The London Acoustic Guitar Show 2012 was a great success and will definitely strike a chord if you enjoy listening to gifted and talented musicians playing the very best acoustic guitars!