26/8/06

Took up an invitation from a friend to see Bert Jansch at the Tollbooth Theatre in Stirling last night. Strange venue, the audience of about 150 in steeply-banked rows, a humble little guy with an acoustic at the bottom. His voice was very limited, but you couldn’t fault his guitar playing. I’ve heard lots of finger-style guitarists in my time, but most of them probably learned their style from this man. Somehow, however, the gig never caught alight. Bert mumbled between songs, the audience were as quiet as the dead except for polite applause. You could tell it was a struggle for him and while a more extravert performer could have turned it round – a Richard Thompson or a Loudon Wainwright – that wasn’t him, and the evening ended on a flat, false encore. The highlight for me was the first time anyone’s breathed new life into Clive Palmer’s venerable Empty Pocket Blues.

Today, hours and hours on the Ferry Arts Festival website. Stopping now to do some music.