Gavin Marwick was on the shortlist for Composer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music awards 2014, and the Journeyman Spectacular was on the shortlist for Live Act of the Year.
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Journeyman Spectacular High Res image for download:
Gavin Marwick High Res Image for download:
Journeyman Spectacular Tech - Stage Plan and Channel List for download:
Journeyman Spectacular posters for download (with white flash strip for venue details at bottom):
‘Astonishing creativity’ Folk Radio UK
‘A phenomenal experience’ Celtic Music Radio
"18th January 2014, Saturday night down in Glasgow’s old St Andrews Square, a magical musical journey delighted a sold out Celtic Connections Festival audience. It was created by a band in full flight orchestrated and conducted by a musician at the peak of his talent and power; Gavin Marwick, fiddler extraordinaire, composer and author. Together with his musician friends, members of the Old Blind Dogs, Ceilidh Minogue, Bellevue Rendezvous and Up in the Air, they delivered to an enchanted audience a jaw dropping treat of original reels, songs and jigs, sometimes gently played, at other times delivered with the skirl of a Highland storm." - scotsmusic.com
"The line up was like a who’s who in Scottish music. Right from the very start the audience were totally gripped by the superb musicianship on show in front of them. From reels, to jigs, to slow airs, to traditional songs the audience were thoroughly entertained. There were even some who could not resist the temptation and were dancing away down the sides of the auditorium. The Journeyman Spectacular will be going on tour and this is one concert I would definitely make a point of seeing - you are guaranteed a phenomenal experience." - Celtic Music Radio
"This is after all music that will make you think, dream a little and conjure images from deep within the subconscious. It’s music that will offer surprises in it’s constantly shifting moods, delight in its vivacity, but above all will make you feel. There is an abundance of joy, but also misty eyed melancholy to be found within. It is like an internal journey with a constantly emotional landscape. Let your mind wander its course, because when measured against the journey of The Long Road And The Far Horizons, two hours is but a sliver of time to give. After all, they do say that travel broadens the mind and herein lies the proof of that." - Folk Radio UK
"Marwick’s compositions have an evocative depth and a dramatic unpredictability, and it’s not surprising to discover that several of these pieces were commissions composed to accompany theatre shows. Indeed, this whole double album could be the soundtrack to a really interesting, eclectic road movie by Sean Penn or the Coen Brothers." - fROOTS
"…the range and scope of Marwick’s compositions are so vast and all-encompassing that they could stand as tutorials for budding fiddlers." - Andy Fyfe, Q magazine
JOURNEYMAN SPECTACULAR BIOG:
The full line up is: Gavin Marwick (fiddle), Ruth Morris (nyckelharpa/fiddle), Jonny Hardie (fiddle/guitar/vocals), Gregor Lowrey (accordion), Claire Mann (flute/fiddle), Fraser Fifield (sax/whistle/pipes/cajon), Bob Turner (piano), Cameron Robson (cittern), Aaron Jones (bass/bouzouki/vocals) and Davy Cattanach (percussion/guitar/vocals).
Gavin Marwick (Scottish fiddle player/composer) has been using Journeyman as a kind of catch all umbrella term to cover various aspects of his musical career. There is, for example, Journeyman the record label, and the Journeyman Collection, the ongoing series of Gav’s tunes in manuscript form. As a prolific composer and tunewriter Gav has a lot of musical ideas to expand, ambitiously covering a long list of inspirations and geography. Years spent developing these tunes in bands and with various friends in varying small line ups resulted in Gav doing a Celtic Connections New Voices commission (entitled Journeyman) in 2008 with a six piece line-up featuring himself, partner Ruth Morris on nyckelharpa, other Bellevue member Cameron Robson on cittern and Jews harp, Ceilidh Minogue musical buddies Bob Turner and Gregor Lowrey on piano and accordion, and multi-instrumentalist Fraser Fifield on various woodwinds and percussion. The format that afternoon was not to waste a precious second of stage time and the band played a continual, hour long arrangement.
Returning to smaller line-ups for reasons of economy the development continued with small scale live work in Scotland (and, surprisingly, a performance in Italy, which was lovely). With the awarding of a Creative Scotland grant in 2013 Gav took to the studio and was able to realise the dream of recording a double album of original material with a dozen musical friends. In addition to the pals who’d been involved in the New Voices gig there was also Jonny Hardie and Davy Cattanach from Up In The Air on fiddle and percussion; Aaron Jones (bass/bouzouki), Claire Mann (flute/fiddle) and Leo McCann (button box); Tim Dalling and Pete Challoner from the New Rope String Band on accordion and fiddle. It’s important to the breadth of the album that all these people were there with their different styles and similar yet different instruments. This allowed for a wonderful palette from which to colour each track individually and give each tune its own sound and identity.
The album was to be launched at Celtic Connections 2014 with a 10 piece band made of folk who’d been on the recording. Other launch gigs were arranged for Galloway and Edinburgh, and then other venues became interested as well and before we knew what was happening we had a Scottish tour with a 10 piece band to organise. Such a large and ambitious project needed a name to match which is where the Spectacular came from. The plan was to perform tunes from the Long Road album and also have songs and contributions from the established bands and artists on stage – the launch/tour line-up contained Bellevue Rendezvous, Up In The Air, Aaron Jones and Claire Mann and enough current or ex Old Blind Dogs to have an Old Blind Dog Allstars. The line-up has to be flexible, not everyone can make every gig but there’s always plenty going on and part of the fun is in mixing the musicians. Deps include Marc Duff and Phil Alexander (and only Pete and Tim from the album have never done the gig yet, hopefully one day).
This format, described as “a mini folk festival in one night”, featuring Gav’s original tunes interspersed and performed by a constantly changing line up of various musical friends, has been enthusiastically received by audiences and musicians. A standing ovation at the first show in Glasgow and at other venues during the first tour encouraged the Spectacular to take on more work and subsequently, thanks once again to support from Creative Scotland, there are now concerts and festivals the length of the UK.