Peter Knight’s Gigspanner 

The world of classical music lost a future superstar when violin virtuoso Peter Knight walked away from the Royal Academy of Music and immersed himself in the folk boom sweeping London in the 60s. He soon found himself invited to join the massively influential and commercially successful Steeleye Span and remained with them until a couple or so years ago, sharing the title of Britain’s favourite fiddler with Fairport legend Dave Swarbrick. In fact, Knight is an even greater player because he can turn his hand to many styles including the toughest – jazz. And his infinite variety was fully on display when his trio Gigspanner played The Cut in Halesworth, revealing his genius in a series of rapid jigs and reels, slow ballads and laments, all of which were conveyed through his extraordinary range of techniques such as double-stopping and harmonics, which were of a skill I have never seen before. The highlight of the evening for me was a reel featuring guitarist Roger Flack playing the top of the violin fingerboard col legno with a pair of sticks while Knight wove his magic lower down to the accompaniment of new drummer Sacha Trochet on beatbox. It was pure wizardry from a man who looks increasingly like Gandalf. Only Knight is real.

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