Album review: GORDON GILTRAP & PAUL WARD – The Last Of England

On Sunday 15 January 2017 at 18:00 GMT David Randall chatted to Gordon Giltrap on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with tracks from the new album. 

GORDON GILTRAP & PAUL WARD - The Last Of England

Angel Air Records [Release date 20.01.17]

Gordon Giltrap?  Where do you start?  This veteran performer has been treading the boards since the late 1960s when his first album appeared on the Transatlantic label.  Since that time with successive solo albums, a dalliance in the 1970s with electric prog rock and any number of collaborations, the watchword has always been musical quality and brilliant guitar playing.  Oh yes and that tune called ‘Heartsong’.

Gordon’s latest enterprise places his acoustic guitar against the rich orchestrations of his latest collaborator Paul Ward.  Paul who? He met him at a car boot sale in the 1980s soon realising that Paul had been a fan since childhood.

Fast forward  30 odd years and the duo have created a superb, pastoral, album of lush acoustic and orchestral textures.  The first seven pieces are related and collectively called ‘The Brotherhood Suite’ and inspired by the  pre-Raphaelite art Giltrap viewed in – amongst other places – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

The remainder of the set includes a mixture of tunes commissioned by or dedicated to friends and family.

Ward’s arrangements are never intrusive but always complementary giving an extra dimension to Giltrap’s solo guitar. It’s evident a lot of thought has gone into this aspect, and the informative liner notes highlight the mutually shared inspiration.  Fairport’s Rick Sanders adds violin to the closing piece – and standout – ‘A Promise Fulfilled’.

 A great way to usher in 2017 and Angel Air’s 20th anniversary.  *****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Archive review (Reissues, 2013)


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


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