“Let me introduce you to my band,” said Tommy Emmanuel last night.
By some unfathomable guitar wizardry, the Australian played bass lines, rhythm guitar and lead all at once, with percussive beats thrown in too. No snazzy loop pedals, just undeniable talent and jaw-dropping ability.
Blue Moon is more familiar to me, being belted out with a Mancunian twang by Manchester City fans from the terraces, alhough this rendition entirely different and something quite extraordinary.
It was Emmanuel’s first trip to the isles, performing as part of the Shetland International Guitar Festival.
Mareel was packed to the rafters and Emmanuel ripped through a two-hour set with a trio of guitars in his armoury and huge library of tricks and trills.
From cascading harmonies, to scratching the the guitar top to sound like brushes on a snare drum, he pulled out sounds from the instrument that I didn’t know were possible.
Local trio Norman Goudie, Callum Nicolson and Jack Robertson kicked off the night in style with Goudie cracking jokes with the audience and intricate accompaniment from Nicolson on the vibraphone.
With walking bass lines from Robertson, and clean, warming guitar licks from Goudie, the band played a broad selection of jazz tunes including “chat up line” 100 years From Today – with Goudie’s voice shining through.;