Hummus- Bert’s back
Kenny Mathieson speaks to Bert .lansch. a man who can pull audiences of grin/led veterans as well as pop‘s latest pretenders.
.\ residency is one thing when the gig is just aero“ the Cll_\. but quite another when it's -illll miles away. That has not deterred London—based singer and guitarist Bert lansch from launching rejjuiar gigs lll both (ilasgow and ltdrnl‘urgh l he dates will normally tail on consecutive nights in the tirst week ot each month. but are split this time around to accommodate a couple of additional cottttttiltttcttts.
.lanseh is no stranger to either location. hav mg been born in (ilasgow and brought up in lidinhurgh. He was a key ligur'e tn the developing folk revival ol the (ills. a complicated attd multi-l'aeeted phenomenon which ranged from traditional singing through to lolk-roek. and incorporated eletnents of blues. ia/x and what is now called world music in a diverse range of cotttltinatiotts
Janseh cut his teeth in the now legendary loll. sessions at The llowl'f it' l'itlittltltt'glt \\ tth the likes of llamis'h lmlaeh. .'\rehie l‘isher and Davey (iraham \\ lien American blues guitar
techniques and Scottish traditional songs were married in an intricate union — before moving to London. where. among many other things. he joined the highly successful l’entanglc.
‘I discovered an EP of Big Bill Brooan when l was about fourteen.‘ explains Jansch. ‘l really knew nothing abortt the background of this music. or other guitar players who played it. but I set about trying to learn the licks from this record. It was only afterwards that I started to meet people like Hamish lmlach and so on. who knew all about it. and it grew frorn there. Later on in London. I was introduced to jazz by Davey Graham's brother. Nick.‘
llis (ids records on 'l‘ransatlantic were
‘I think of myself as a songwriter first and a guitarist second.’
immensely inﬂuential. and it is fitting that his first album in six years. When The Circus (‘mm's 'Iii 'Iim'ii. should be on that revived label. The residency idea builds on his successful weekly stint at the 12 Bar Club in London's Soho. as well as his disengagement from the re-formed Pentangle. which he says ‘did not seem to be going anywhere. You know it‘s time to get ottt when the diplomacy starts to take over from the musical satisfaction.‘ For his residencies. he will play solo (with a guest or two thrown in). and
although he is routinely disingenuous about his abilities as a guitarist. you can bet there will be plenty of players along to check him out who take a different view.
‘Basically. I think of myself as a songwriter first and a guitarist second. There are so many brilliant players out there who are real guitar players. whereas I tend to dabble and take
Jansch: ﬂying solo
things so far. then lose interest and start on something else. I don‘t play with a set list. it depends how l feel on the night once I get on stage. but I still do a good few of the old lavourites’.‘ l))('l'l./(i'l1\'tfl [HINTS ill The Press ('lti/i. (llitsuun. (ill Ill /.‘ /'..(l.\'l Kil/H'ii/e .‘ii'ls (it'll/IF l’ll Sill /.i)<'/ll‘tlllfil. /.\f(' (l/ (null/1e (11/? Royal. /'.'iliit/)tii'u/i. on Thurs 7.
(\I'I’HH on Kim .‘.
atheatre Monday II - Saturday23 March; Cumbernauld Theatre’s Celtic Artsfestiyal
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