The son of a labourer, he grew up in an austere but protective community of terraced houses in Deptford, south-east London. His obsession with stringed instruments began nine years later, when a friend turned up at the house with an out-of-tune Spanish guitar. Keen to encourage his new hobby, his parents bought him a plastic ukulele with a picture of Elvis on the headstock, then a Martin Coletti archtop jazz guitar with a sunburst finish and a brown canvas case. Gordon’s first band Gordon joined his first band when barely in his teens, and relished the opportunity to play songs by his idols - Cliff Richard, The Shadows and The Everly Brothers.
He set his sights on Art College, but bowed to his father’s insistence that he learn “a trade”, and unenthusiastically grafted his way through a series of unrewarding jobs. He continued to play the guitar in his spare time, and in November 1966, his individuality and passion earned him a recording contract with Transatlantic. Gordon served his apprenticeship as a singer/songwriter on the London folk club circuit, and his self-titled debut album was released in 1968. Each subsequent album broke new ground, and he developed a extraordinary repertoire while establishing a reputation for thrilling live performances. In the late Seventies, Gordon enjoyed a brief spell as a pop star, with a hit album (Perilous Journey) and two hit singles (‘Heartsong’ and ‘Fear of the Dark’). Heartsong was nominated for an Ivor Novello award and is fondly remembered as the theme tune to the BBC’s Holiday programme. ‘Fear of the Dark’ was the first 12-inch colour picture disc to be released in the UK and featured a heavily-made-up and unflattering image of what was then being marketed as The Gordon Giltrap Band. All the musical trends at the time were moving away from acoustic music, and Gordon retreated gracefully from the pop spotlight. In 1996, Gordon realised a dream of playing guitar alongside Cliff Richard, on stage in Cliff’s West End musical Heathcliff.
As well as performing in the role of The Troubadour, Gordon arranged the overture and wrote two pieces of music. Gordon has been a keen supporter of arthritis and leukaemia charities. His contribution was recognised in 2000, when he was inducted into the oldest showbusiness charity in history, The Grand Order of Water Rats. His first performance DVD - Live At Huntingdon Hall - was released in 2003. In 2005, Gordon staged a special concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall, performing his own compositions as a solo artist, with guest musicians from contrasting disciplines, and with the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra. Other more recent projects include 3 Parts Guitar with John Etheridge and Ray Burley, which performed a series of concerts in 2009.
2010 saw the inclusion of Clive Carroll in this supergroup and the album 4 Parts Guitar was released in early 2011. Gordon’s music continues to evade categorisation, influenced as it is by the rock guitar of Hank Marvin and Pete Townshend, the folk guitar of Bert Jansch and Clive CarrollJohn Renbourn, and the classical guitar of Julian Bream and John Williams. Forthcoming "prog rock" album Gordon has just completed a new album with Oliver Wakeman for the first time in a number of years. The name of the album is "Ravens and Lullabies" and it will be released on 4th March 2013 MIA awards 2011 Guitar Techniques Magazine has included in their list of nominations for ACOUSTIC GUITAR OF THE YEAR the Gordon Giltrap Vintage VE 2000GG signature guitar. www.giltrap.co.uk Complete list of recordings 1968 Gordon Giltrap Transatlantic TRA 175 1969 Portrait Transatlantic TRA 202 1971 A Testament Of Time MCA MKPS 2020 1973 Giltrap Philips 6308 175 1976 Visionary Electric TRIX 2 1977 Perilous Journey Electric TRIX 4 1978 The Early Days Allegro ALC 4052 Cassette only 1978 Fear Of The Dark Electric TRIX 7 1980 Performance K-tel NE 1081 Compilation 1981 The Peacock Party PVK GIL 1 1981 Live Cube ICS 1001 LIVE 1981 The Platinum Collection cube PLAT 1005 compilation 1982 Airwaves PVK GIL 2 1987 Elegy Modern Music MODEM 1001 1987 A Midnight Clear Modern Music MODEM 1006 Christmas Carols 1989 One To One Nico Polo NP002 with Ric Sanders 1990 Guitarist (vinyl) Music Maker Records MML 88006-6 compilation 1990 Guitarist (CD) Music Maker Records CMML 88006-6 compilation 1990 The Peacock Party (CD) BBC Enterprises CDPT 507 1991 Elegy / Perilous Journey BBC Prestige CDPM 850 2 LPs on 1 CD 1991 Visionary / Fear Of The Dark BBC Prestige CDPM 851 2 LPs on 1 CD 1991 The Best of Gordon Giltrap Prestige CDSGP005 compilation 1991 A Matter Of Time Prestige CDSGP007 with Martin Taylor 1992 The Eye Of The Wind Accolade EYE T1 Cassette only. Birmingham Schools Concert Orch. 1992 The Solo Album Prestige CDSGP021 compilation 1992 On A Summer's Night Music Maker Records CMMR 924 LIVE at Warwick Folk Festival 1993 Gordon Giltrap / Portrait Transatlantic / Demon Records TDEMCD 15 2 LPs on 1 CD 1995 Music For The Small Screen Munchkin Records MRCD1 1995 Live At The BBC BBC Worldwide WHISCD009 LIVE 1995 The Brotherhood Suite Munchkin Records Cassette only.
Nottmshire Education String Orch. 1997 Gordon Giltrap / Portrait (reissue) Transatlantic / Castle ESM CD 526 2 LPs on 1 CD 1998 Troubadour K-TEL ECD 3390 1999 Visionary (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP114CD 1999 Perilous Journey (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP113CD 1999 Fear Of The Dark (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP112CD 1999 One To One (reissue) Terra Nova TERR CD017 with Ric Sanders 2000 Live At Oxford (CD) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP115CD LIVE 2000 Part of the Picture Snapper Music SMD CD 297 2 CD compilation 2000 A Midnight Clear (CD) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP106CD Christmas Carols 2000 Music For The Small Screen (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP110CD 2000 Airwaves (CD) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP108CD 2000 The Solo Album (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP111CD compilation 2000 Janschology Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP124CD 2001 Collection Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP117CD 2 CD compilation. 1 Studio, 1 LIVE CD 2001 Elegy (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP107CD 2001 The Peacock Party (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP105CD 2001 Troubadour 2CD (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP147CD Original CD plus Acoustic Version 2001 On A Summer's Night (reissue) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP109CD LIVE at Warwick Folk Festival 2002 Giltrap and Taylor (reissue) P3 Music P3M003 with Martin Taylor, reissue of A Matter Of Time 2002 Under This Blue Sky Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP150CD 2003 Gordon Giltrap Band Live 1981 Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP148CD LIVE 2003 Fingers Of Fire Arc recordings no cat. No. LIVE 2003 Remember This Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP155CD 2004 Double Vision Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP158CD with Raymond Burley 2004 Live At Ambergate Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP156CD Binaural Recording 2004 The River Sessions River Records RIVERCD036 LIVE in 1979 2004 Drifter Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP159CD 2 CD - 1 CD LIVE 2005 A Testament Of Time (CD) Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP157CD 2005 A Taste of Classical Giltrap Wates group no cat.
No. with Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra 2006 Captured From A Point In Time hypertension HYP 6251 LIVE tracks 2006 Symphony Hall Birmingham Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP160CD Double-sided LIVE CD and DVD 2007 Sixty Minutes with Gordon Giltrap Voiceprint VP6003CD compilation 2007 Secret Valentine Voiceprint / La Cooka Ratcha LCVP162CD 2007 As It Happens…. Voiceprint VP458CD LIVE Concert in full 2009 From Brush and Stone Voiceprint VP445CD with Rick Wakeman. Early copies with bonus DVD 2009 Double Visions (reissue) Floating World Records FLOATB6025 with Raymond Burley 2010 Troubadour CD & Live at Ventnor Winter Gardens DVD Demon Edsel EDSX3007 LIVE DVD 2010 Music For The Small Screen & The Solo Album Demon Edsel EDSD2073 Also available digitally VEXEDSD2073 2010 The Peacock Party & Airwaves Demon Edsel EDSD2074 Also available digitally VEXDIGI317 2010 Remember This & Janschology Demon Edsel EDSS 1043 Also available digitally VEXDIGI318 Read more on Last.fm.
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