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Foyer, The Apex

New drummer, Oliver Sears, recruited after seeing a YouTube video

Albert Lee [1]

and the Albert Hall [2]


I must say as someone who listens to Bach organ music to relax - it gives the brain a workout while leaving plenty of the remaining capacity, as meagre as it might be, to think of other things - I take at once to Albert Lee playing guitar.

Like very fine wine there is plenty going on but you cannot quite put it into words because, partly, there is no point - it is sensory, not summable in words.

With organ music a large number of pipes sound over a given timeframe and there are multiple reverberations off different parts of the building structure that displace in time when some sounds reach you. With Bach there is also repetition of series of notes as patterned variations.

With Albert Lee he is playing many more notes over a given timespan than most guitarists, the sound is clean with little distortion and he often uses an echo repeater technique that repeats a note after the next note has sounded.

He even engages more neurons than Bach does because he is unpredictable whilst Bach is not - a guitar voluntary player if you like - even though I am listening for the familiar when he is playing in the country music canon.

As many have observed - unique.


3 June 2017

Since Bach organ music is mentioned perhaps I should add that I went today to the recital given by David Goode marking the 40th anniversary of the completion of the Metzler organ in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, an organ many now consider the best instrument in Britain to play Bach organ music on.

Over the academic year 23 recitals have been given by different organists on the organ, of which this was the last, exploring the full organ works of Johann Sebastian Bach's.

Over a three year period David Goode has also recorded the complete organ works on this organ for Signum and when all have been released it will extent to around 17 CDs.

Though I am familiar with hearing the organ this recital really did open my ears to the warmth and clearness it has.

You can hear it for yourself as it was recorded for BBC Radio 3 for broadcast on 8 June 2017 and will also subsequently be available on the College choir's website.



It's true when they say there's not a bad seat acoustically in the house at The Apex, Bury St Edmunds - an impressive municipal auditorium opened in 2010 - with the shape of the ceiling, the materials, the design of the balconies and the size of the auditorium all suggesting as much before you hear a note.

The ceiling above the stage

Albert Lee, well-known for playing with Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, the Everly Brothers and Hogan's Heroes was at The Apex for a second time, with his own band on 10 March 2017.

All ready to go ....

Before the interval the performance had a transport ring to it with Wheels, Runaway Train and Luxury Liner amongst the songs, with the latter two each affording long virtuoso guitar passages at the end, which many had probably come to hear from one of the best guitarists in the world.

Albert Lee picks up his guitar for the first set

After the interval he recounted how he became an Everly Brother at Wembley before becoming their guitarist for 20-plus years.

He is reputed to be a good pianist, too, and there were songs with him at a keyboard including an interesting arrangement of Till I Gain Control Again and, in the encore, a Glen Campbell song of three years ago.

At the keyboard

Nonetheless, Albert Lee singing, and especially playing guitar, were to fore in an enjoyable concert. He lives in Malibu and has a couple dozen concerts to do in the current tour.