Reviews

Dessert Rain

From the 2004 Album 'Get Away'

Musician Aims To Supply Guitars 
Western Morning News, 10 July 2007

A cornish musician is launching a one-man mission to provide guitars for disadvantaged children. Gerry Gillard is selling off CDs, T-shirts and asking for donations at concerts  to supply children with guitars and get them interested in music. Mr Gillard is negotiating a deal with suppliers to get the best possible price and hopes to raise £2,000 to provide children in youth centres, schools and community centres with guitars. He said: 'Music has been so important to me and I think there are a lot of young people who could benefit from learning to play. It's amazing how enjoyable learning an instrument can be and it teaches you a certain kind of discipline and a way of working with others.' Mr Gillard is well-known throughout the county as a rock, blues and folk guitarist and singer. He already has a reputation for keeping music live as the organiser of weekly jam sessions which encourage musicians to meet up and play together. Mr Gillard is collecting money at the jam sessions and hopes to continue raising funds in the future to keep the project ongoing. 
To find out more about the project  visit gerrygillard.com or call 07521156138


Gerry Gillard Scores A Hat Trick 
At The Cricketers, Keighley

I was one member of a packed house at the Cricketers Coney Lane Keighley on Saturday night to watch Gerry Gillard's last solo gig up North. Gerry has on two previous occasions entertained audiences on Tuesday nights at the Crick's earlier this year. Landlord John Mitchell had kept in contact with Gerry only to find that he was moving back to his native Cornwall and was playing his last live gig in Cumbria on Friday 17th November. So John had arranged a final performance, on the Saturday, at the Crick's, we had been promised a good show with the possibilities of a jam session with local drummer Mick Bolt. A drum kit had been set up in readiness. When Gerry arrived he had surprised John by bringing with him Bass Guitarist Paul Spedding from Morecambe Bay and drummer Frank Hall from Barrow in Furness. The stage was quickly re-arranged to accommodate the three piece set and we were treated to a fantastic night of live music, ranging from Gerry's own stuff to Lennon and McCartney, Stevie Wonder and a host of other covers in Gerry's inimitable blues style.  I spoke to Gerry after the performance and asked WHY the Cricketers when he is used to playing to much larger audiences. ''I tell everyone about this little pub in Keighley where the audience sit and listen to everything you throw at them, this is only usually found when you have an audience who have paid to watch you. These people at the Cricketers get their music for free but still you get the utmost respect for your performance''
keep music live!!! Cheers Gerry we'll miss you.
Michael J Jessop.

Hi Gerry
Thanks once again for a great show from you & the lads. first class rock, blues, funk, no covers all original,
what more can we say, lets know if your putting the show out on cd have attached some photos of the night,
see you soon, will have to send in 3 emails,
Fish.

Hi Gerry
Just a short note to say thanks for the amazing show you played last night in Dumfries, and apologies for the awful turnout. If you are up this way again, please let me know and I'll forward the contacts I have for local newspaper and radio up here. Thanks again for allowing me to play your guitar, hope I didn;t sully it too much
Cheers,
Rory Nelson    rory@eekle.fsnet.co.uk

Hi Gerry
Just wanted to say thanks again for putting on a fantastic show in Dumfries on Friday night.
I know that the lack of audience was disappointing, but I can assure you that myself, Miriam and Rory had a fantastic evening, and I think that Rory will be talking about your guitar for months to come! I hope that you'll consider putting on another show in Dumfries sometime in the future, and I can assure you that we will be doing what we can to drag friends and colleagues along and open their minds (and ears) and letting them catch a few beats from your CDs in the meantime. It may not be Mr Garcia, but I think I've found another Gerry well worth a mention to everyone!
Anyway, thanks again, and all the best Paul Halliday Miriam McAvoy Rory Nelson
paul@demon1.plus.com

Dear Gerry
Saw you last night at Ali's pub in Oxford. Cannot stop listening to the live at Colne cd, 
which I bought along with 'Get Away'. You are fantastic, I've never heard such beautiful sounds eminating from a guitar and I love your songs.  'The Children are Playing' is truly uplifting and mesmerising. 
I so enjoyed your gig, I'm going through a difficult time at the moment and found your music very healing. 
was sorry to get there late but I know I will see you again. I have sent an email to the guy who runs the Banbury Blues festival suggesting he gives you a listen. 
Good luck in your quest for more gigs.
Thanks again, you make the planet a better place.
Love, Penny XXXX
info@coloursuk.fsbusiness.co.uk

Hi Gerry
Just a quick note to say thanks very much from Ros and everyone at Lerryn for a great night out.
People have been coming in to the shop this morning saying how much they enjoyed it.
One lady said she loved the blues stuff, another said she wanted to get up and dance to the African number
and one man said he could have closed his eyes and been at sea for the sailing number you did at the end .
Hope to see you in the future, 
Malcolm
P.S. Hope the journey up to Glasgow was ok and you get to play with some good musicians today.
sue@lerrynvillage.co.uk

Email From The Late Great Al Hodge 
While Gerry Was Based In Cumbria

Hi Gerry
Sounding great me ol' son...keep doing it. Looking forward to seeing you playing 'live' sometime.
Get yourself down here in Cornwall whenever you can!
Gedoyabugger!
Alan@alhodge.com

Gerry
Great sets at Colne - shame about the drunks, but every venue has it's share! Not to worry; the real music lovers had a great time and one guy made a point of finding us and asked us to tell you that you are CLASS and far too good for that venue at that time of day. He was also a musician and he said he would make a point of seeing you again. Take care, see you at the Red Cat!
Steve & Janet
jcalderbank@dsl.pipex.com

Email Sent To Www.Riffsonline.Co.Uk 
By John Boury

Hi to all, As a regular visitor to this excellent site I was thinking that I have contributed little so here goes.....
last autumn I was visiting Kendal and spotted a threepiece called The Gerry Gillard Band.
I stayed the whole show, was very impressed, I felt that here was the best guitarist I had seen for many years, so I booked them to play at the Daisy Hill this summer. As things turned out the band split up and I agreed to do something new and put on a solo performer, i.e Gerry and his 'extreme acoustic' set. Last week Gerry came over from Lancashire armed with his digital sampler and his Ovation guitars and simply blew us all away.
Wether it was a slow or frenetic tune/song, the sound resonating around that the room that night was excellent. Gerry is no newcomer, he has been in the business over 30 years playing at most of the big festivals (Maryport last year and is playing the main acoustic stage at Colne later this year), 
as well as in Europe. With his own compositions with a mix of covers done in his own way he is a must to see when he returns to the Daisy Hill October 28th, (far be it for me to tote for business of course :) 
Regards and good luck to people like me who love it live and try to keep it going by hosting the venues in the area. 
John at the Daisy Hill

Hi Gerry
Thanks for a great show last night, a refreshing change from what we usually see.
We had a lady accuse local band Black Rose of miming, don't know what she would have made of you. 
Not only is your guitar playing so original, but in the words of my wife 'He's a canny chanter too' praise indeed.
(see a lot of good bands let down by poor vocals, last week prime example)
If I hadn't seen and heard it myself I would have said it impossible to do Hendrix acoustically, awesome.
Have been listening to the 4 cd's we bought between us, nice to listen to the different styles over the years, think I like the direction your now heading. So good luck for the future, hope it's not too long before we see you back at the Hill, will keep checking the web site to see if any other gigs appear in the North East.
Cheers,
Fish

Email From Pete Raymond 
Regarding Band Gig @ Studio One, 
Glasgow, 10th Feb 2005

Hi Gerry,I just had to drop you a note to say a HUGE thank-you for a stupendous gig at Studio One last night.
I am something of a regular there, but last night was something special. I know that you are going to be concentrating on solo acoustic stuff for a while and hopefully you'll come back to Studio One so that we can see that aspect of your work. We may not be the biggest of audiences but we are appreciative and (I like to think..) knowledgeable about our Blues, and I hope that you and the guys in the band felt that it was worthwhile. Hopefully we'll see you playing with them as a band at some point in the future. Next time, try and come on a Monday night, when there is usually a bigger crowd of the 'hardcore' blues fans. I know that your promoter Alan Hewitt is putting together a blues festival in October at Studio One and across the road in a fabulous converted church called the Oran Mor, which has a stage upstairs in a room that would be ideal for an amplified acoustic set - perhaps we'll see you again as part of that. Now that Alan has taken on acouple of other home-grown Studio One regulars into his stable, Alan Nimmo and Rev Doc, we'll hopefully see our local boys making good to a wider audience. You mentioned that you might put onto your website a demo of your newest song that you did near end of your set last night....it would be great if you could - my son (14) has just started playing in a band, and I'd like to try and persuade them to give it a try, especially since the sentiments expressed would suit them very well at this point in their 'career'. I just wish that you were a bit nearer so that we could take you up on the tuition and guidance that you offer. I am sure that your other pupils must be totally inspired. I'll say 'hello' to Mike Hellier for you next week when he's up at Studio One with his band supporting Steve Arvey - another rockin' Thursday night to look forward to. And we've got Ian Parker coming on Monday....it should be quite a week!
Expect an order for your live CD....
Kind Regards,
Pete Raymond.

Blues Matters Magazine
Review Of The Gerry Gillard Band 
@ The Old Black Bull Preston, Lancs, 04,12.04 
From Blues Matters Magazine, Issue 24, Feb 2005

This was the first time I had been down to The Old Black Bull in Preston, well the first time I had been out to
a live gig since I moved down to Lancashire, and I was really impressed. Gerry Gillard just ROCKED! - 
mixing his own original compositions with some favourite covers  (the Hendrix medley was particular special), Gerry put together an unforgettable performance of Blues/Funk that should have had the crowd bouncing. Unfortunately it didn't - despite a fantastic set from Gerry and his band (consisting of Frank Hall on Drums and Tim Swettenham on Bass), there seemed to be a distance between the audience and the band that was hard to understand. Saying that I couldn't fault the band's effort and enjoyed one of the best live performances I had seen since the 22-20s at the Cardiff Barfly, over a year before. Despite the lack of crowd interaction I did like the venue a lot, there's a feel of a 'local' pub with live acts pretty much every Saturday (free for the punters to enjoy) …most importantly they serve the best Beer I have managed to find since moving up from Wales!
....Darren Howells,
Blues Matters.

Maryport Blues Festival, July 2004
Times & Star Newspaper
Ian Brogden

''There are too many bands to mention during the 28 hours or so of trail music but the official highlight was probably Paul Rose on Saturday, closely followed by Gerry Gillard on Friday''

International Guitar Festival 
At The Brewery Arts Centre, 
Kendal, June 2004

Dear Gerry,

just a note to say how much we enjoyed the International Guitar Festival. We are the parents of Alex, who eventually found the courage to join in the workshop on Sat.afternoon. Thank you so much for encouraging him. We're certain that your relaxed manner and support boosted his confidence no end! That aside we had a great day listening to all the talented people out there. We were mesmerised by the evening concert with John Renbourne, Clive Carroll and Hans Theessink. Just wish we could have got to everything!
We now have a copy of The Cumbria Crack and with two guitar obsessed sons we're sure the gig guide will
be very useful. We'll try and catch you at one of your own gigs soon.
Once again thanks and congratulations on being involved in such a great event.
Belinda and Graham Hulme (and Alex).

The Captain Nelson, Maryport 11.01.04

Just had to write and say thanks for such a great afternoon at The Nelson on Sunday, you and your band were awesome. You have now set a new standard for the groups coming here.
Hope the recording came out alright and I would like to buy a CD if one is available.
Thanks once again.
Livy.

The Captain Nelson Tavern, Maryport 11.01.04
Review by Steve and Stephanie Bouckley

This was the first gig together for this newly formed, but very experienced, three piece band.
The lineup featured Gerry Gillard on vocals and half a dozen guitars, Tim Swettenham on 5 string bass and the fabulous veteran, Frank Hall, playing barefoot on drums. They cracked off with a couple of very nice self penned tunes and then played an as yet, untitled, Hendrix inspired tune, on a Tele rather that a Strat. How about 'Castles in the Breeze'? Next up, they rocked the place with a cover of Nazareth's 'Bad, Bad, Boy', the bass and drums playing very tight together. Their own 'Crystal Ball Blues' featured Gerry playing Satriani style riffs whilst the boys at the back laid down a very heavy beat. Steve Miller's 'The Joker' was a cover absolutely nothing like the original, a well funky version this one. A Hendrix medley finished off the first set, with Frank sat at the back hammering away furiously. The second set got under way with 'Everybody Sometimes Gets the Blues', during which Gerry got us all singing the chorus, even the bar staff joined in. To their credit, a request for some SRV was dealt with by an impromptu 'If The House is a Rockin' 'Witch Queen of New Orleans' and 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was followed by 'You Can't Always Get What You Want', which featured all three of them on percussion; Tim on a cymbal, Gerry on the floor tom and Frank on all the rest. Gerry and Frank then played a nice duet together on the toms, before Frank gave us an absolutely blistering drum solo. Top stuff. Another of their own, 'My Vivienne', was dedicated to anyone of that name, to which of course some bloke owned up to, as you would expect. This one was played with a slide tube on the fret and the reverb turned right up, which made for some very atmospheric resonance that really filled the room. 'Drifting', was another one of theirs, with very tight riffs and an amazing solo on the Tele -  you're not supposed to get such a nice sound out of a Tele in a big rock number, are you?
The last number, to try and slow it down a bit so that the crowd would let them off the stage, was a slow acoustic tune 'Times Like This', which was neither slow nor quiet, but it did wind the audience down a bit. We did, of course, shout for a encore, and we got a nice one of Gerry's own compositions called 'Hope', a Jeff Healey style ballad played with a nice jangly riff on the Tele.
For a first gig, it was superb, but of course, these guys aren't novices, they're real pro's.
Spot on stuff.
Steve and Stephanie Bouckley.

The Westmoreland Gazette, Jan 2002. 
Feature By Beth Broomby.
Guitar Man

New musician on the local scene Gerry Gillard is a man so obsessed with guitars that as he lay broken-limbed at the foot of a 90ft cliff he was thinking about his fingers. ''Initially I thought I'd had it - but then I thought I've not come through everything I've been through to die like this. From that moment I didn't think for one minute that I wouldn't play guitar again .'' A cliff top path had given way beneath him sending him bouncing down a sheer granite face, knocking him unconscious and shattering his hip. Surviving the fall made him reassess his life: ''Something like that changes you for ever, you learn to appreciate what you have.''During an 18 month period of recovery, the musician hauled himself back on the live gig circuit and it was while visiting friends on the way up to Scotland that he discovered The Lake District. ''I officially came out as a guitar-a-holich last year,'' says Gerry, who estimates ''several hundred'' guitars have passed through his hands over the years. '' I'm passionate about guitars, playing, teaching and writing music for them. ''Over the years Gerry has built up a vast body of technical and musical knowledge enabling him to write, play and record music in his own studio. Since arriving, Gerry has been working on a new album and is already on the local gig scene.

West Briton Review By Vix Laloe
Gerry's city warm-up for extensive European tour. 

The Old Ale House bulged at the seams with unwinding pencil pushers and long standing Gerry Gillard fans.
Gerry's band were centre stage - well, not so much centre stage as find a space to play, with that many packed wall to wall. There was Mike Hellier on drums, still buzzing from a five-week tour of Germany with the Mick Pini Band. Kevin Woolcock, on bass, with some sweet riff shuffles and the man himself, Gerry Gillard. The energy and vitality of this three-piece is enough to chase any midweek boredom out the door.
Gerry's own compositions, such as 'Changes' and the acoustic trio of 'Times Like This', 'The Blues Inside' and 'Running Faster', dominated the session with some fresh faced, off the cuff solos from Kevin and Mike.
Yes, we know the songs are on your new CD, Gerry, and at ''a fiver a throw for the night''. A few new songs, like 'TakeAway the Fear' and 'Alibis', kept the session keen and the momentum hot. Gerry is a past master of the ad lib and tonight was no exception, with an appreciative crowd calling for more. For the guitar buffs, he played his 1963 Fender Strat, a Fender Tele and for the acoustics, his special Ovation. The band were on form with a tight, innovating and inspired set. The trio are off to Europe on March 30th for a two week tour. Mike reckons Gerry is ready to face the European audiences, who react differently than the Cornish. He said: ''Cornwall is one of the hardest places for live music...the European exposure will be very good for the band, this is a high profile tour and live music is much more appreciated over there. We are taking in Austria, Germany and Switzerland over a two-week period, so we shall be pretty flat out. We are booked to return for another month-long tour in October''. Howard Graves, manager of the Ale House, says ''It's good to see a good local band like Gerry's doing so well and this tour will be an opportunity to promote Cornish bands in Europe,''

West Briton Feature 1998
Gerry the pacemaker goes into Europe

For a man who has stayed content playing the odd solo gig in a country pub or ramming The Ale House, Truro, with his band, Gerry Gillard has done alright for himself. The man with no pretence about his identity or his influence has just entered 1998 with  a new, finely-polished CD and two European tours, with hotels and and all the trimmings under his guitar strap. The secret of such success, claims Gerry, is patience, the right team and hard work. The latest Gerry Gillard CD, 'Where the Wild Winds Blow', is a fitting recording from one of Cornwall's most versatile musicians. It features six tracks ranging from rock and blues to  pop, jazz, funk and ballad, all against the advice of the Virgin record label. Gerry explained that when a representative from Virgin  visited him he was told to stick to one style and perfect it. This Gerry tried; it didn't work for him, so he went back to playing what  he felt suited each song the best. His break came when a German promotion company sent a representative to Cornwall to hear the Gerry Gillard Band play live and then booked them up for a three week tour of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Gerry said: ''We're really pushing into Europe now, we have just booked 10 gigs and a radio show, we are really over the moon.'' The band features ex-Wamma Jamma drummer Mike Hellier, from Longdowns, and bassist Kevin Woolcock, from Camborne. The German promoters, The Art of Music, booked the band on the strength that they could perform so many styles live. The CD features the ballad 'Where the Wild Winds Blow', considered by many the unofficial Cornish anthem. It certainly has all the makings of a sing-along classic with a nice build-up halfway through into a thundering chorus.

Guitarist Magazine Review Of
'Taking A Chance' CD Jan 1997

Cornwall's Gerry Gillard has certainly got his act together where the packaging and presentation of his stuff is concerned. Sorting out a CD for your original material really isn't as expensive as you may fear, and the multi-page full-colour sleeve of this monstrous 13 track offering, complete with lyrics, is highly professional. 
Playing all instruments, the totally drum-free tracks demonstrate the entire gamut of styles possible from an electro-acoustic. 'Walking on Air', for example, has a vaguely Spanish restaurant feel to it, while 'Pixies Hall' wouldn't be out of place on the soundtrack of Wildlife On One, probably over a bit where baby lions blink in the Serengeti sun for the first time (or something soppy like that). Some tracks are instrumentals, some feature Gerry's somewhat Dave Gilmour-like dead pan vocals, amongst the best of the latter being 'Taking a Chance',  which allows the Gillster to dust off an ancient Rickenbacker lap steel to pull off some atmospheric licks that could well have no less a personage than George Harrison calling for his copyright lawyer. He certainly has confidence in his abilities as a guitarist and 'Flying South' is an ambitious solo workout 
in the mould of Adrian Legg, complete with cool two chord runs, widdly bits and harp-like harmonics.
Verdict;
There's not a great deal I could suggest to Mr Gillard, the packaging and production of the CD is top-notch all round, and the man's dexterity on the acoustic guitar is rarely in question. Baseball hats should be tipped in his direction for having  a stab at a number of different styles. He can do all this live, by all acounts, so if you go to Lands End on holiday, don't be surprised if you pop into the local hostelry for a quiet shandy and find Gerry strumming away ****

West Briton Feature 1996
 Jazz, Blues, Ambience

Gerry Gillard, fast becoming one of Cornwall's legends, has released his second album.
This time Gerry plays acoustic guitars, bass, synths and vocals. The CD is a pleasant mix of jazz and blues
with a hint of ambience. It's mellow atmospheric desert island feel makes very easy, if semi-conscious listening. 'The Blues Inside' is a wonderful, enchanting track.
The production is very good as well. This could be a classic in years to come.

West Briton Feature 1996
Guitar Guru Gerry to launch his new single
at Truro's Ale House

Having released his debut album earlier this year, Cornwall-based Gerry Gillard launches his new single,
'Where the Wild Winds Blow', live at Truro's Ale House tonight. He will be joined by In Watermelon Sugar's songwriter,  Hammond organ and bass player Stanley Guffod, Ramshaka drummer Kevin Leatham and bassist
Yan, Mambo Sun is a one-off line-up. Otherwise, it's business as usual in the Ale House, fortnightly on a Saturday,  where Gerry strums solo - no backing tracks or drum machines - playing self-penned numbers as well as covers and medleys.  Gerry has made a name as a well respected rock guitarist with a passion for his chosen instrument, at one time he amassed a collection of over 20 guitars. Originally from Scotland and brought up by his travelling pianist father,  Gerry has rock and roll in his blood and first settled in Cornwall at the age of 15. Fred 'Dick' Taylor,  former pioneering head of Pool School and himself a keen musician, will recall how the youngster, developing a passion for big sounds and effects, blew-up a newly installed PA system. Gerry collaborates with diverse musicians, developes his solo work and mastering production from his high-tech studio in Redruth.

West Briton Feature 1996
Pop in for a 'session'

One of Cornwall's best known solo stars is now sharing his expertise with other musicians hoping to 
improve their sound. Gerry Gillard, legendary guitarist and songwriter who has spawned many melodies, 
has opened a unique new service for bands who want to record some new tracks but don't always have the musicians.  If you pop into Gerry's studio, he'll listen to what you want and then fill in the missing sounds himself or with other 'session' musicians which can be drafted in. Gerry, who has over 20 years' experience in the music business,  can fill in himself on bass, guitar and keyboards (he also gives lessons) to produce the demo tape that will hopefully clinch that deal and set you on the road to top 40 Babylon.

West Briton Review By Baseball Cap 1995
Slick Gerry's Blues 'n' Classics

Saturday and it's shoes on down to The Longboat in Penzance to check out some sizzling entertainment in the form of guitar wiz, Gerry Gillard and his band, comprising drums and bass guitar - man what a rythm section.
It's worth your while to experience Gerry's axe-wielding antics as he sings and performs refreshingly 
imaginative versions of classic songs, plus a few of his own - The Temptations' 'Get Ready' immediately springs to mind. These boys are quality musos who know how to have a good time and how to share it with an unresponsive audience. Gerry's slick presentation gives no opportunity for the gobsmacked beer swilling, alco-pop guzzling crowd to lose the thread.  The second set featured a guest appearence by the evidently exuberant partyman 'Chilli Dog Slim' as he sung his 'Lighthouse Blues' and bobbed about in ecstasy and awe of this trio of tremendous rythm and groove experts, the likes of which he'll be lucky to front again considering the lack of available hot drummers in West Cornwall. Whether you're a guitar, bass or drum fanatic, or just enjoy being astounded by an exhibition of sonic superlatives, then you won't be dissappointed if you transport your fun seeking frame to a gig featuring these dudes. 
The world is they're oyster, so have a taste before they get gobbled up.