I got a message from Nicolas Meier on the day of this last minute gig “Can you make it to New Brighton tonight? Me and Pete Oxley are playing The Pavilion” well I could not miss a chance like that! This was part of the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, held over two weeks in November in (the) Wirral across the River Mersey from Liverpool, UK.
Well I had not been to New Brighton in many years and the Pavilion had been opened in 2011, a really nice building with panoramic views of the River Mersey. We were welcomed at the door by Jane who works as a volunteer at the venue and bought two tickets to the gig.
Nic and Pete started off with numbers from their forthcoming album, which they will tour in early 2017. First was a Waltz followed by “The Key of Klimpt” and “Princes’ Islands” (about a group of nine islands near Istanbul)
Pete played the first half of the 80 minute set on his Godin Multiac Nylon Encore 7 string, this is tuned normally with the extra string being a low B. It is quite a beast and Pete uses the extra bass string to great effect. Nic is playing his Godin Multiac Nylon 6 string but no longer uses the Roland GR-55 synth with the guitar (which he used on the Jeff Beck tours) as he says is fine for chords and backing but does not track fast enough for rapid solos.
Pete playing a 12 string electric which has the narrowest nut I’ve seen on any guitar, never mind a 12 string, he says it is tricky swapping from the wide spacing of the 7 string to this guitar. Nic on Glissentar 11 string Fretless Oud / Guitar cross. They used these to play “Riversides“.
Above is a pic of the encore where they asked each other “Which Guitars have we not played with yet?” Nice to hear the Gibson ES 175, a guitar I really wanted to get hold of some time back but never had the money. Nic is using a steel strung Godin Multiac arch-top. This has normal hum buckers and a piezo pickup under the bridge with the capability of mixing the two for a wider range of sounds. The encore was a blistering jazz improvisation, a great ending to a wonderful performance from both players and I do urge you to get out and see them if you can.
November 12th, Zeffirellis, Compston Road, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9AD, UK starts 20:30 (free)
November 19th, Saint Giles’ Church, 10 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HT, UK starts 19:30
It’s hard not to crack up hanging out with these guys.
Chasing Tales (Review)
meiergroup.com (Nicolas Meier website)
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