By Ian Haughey - 4th March 2012 7:02am
I'm not sure whether or not I'm just easily pleased: I walk out of my back door, something like 200 metres to the Lord Combermere where, usually on a Thursday night I can hear live music, and share good company.
Courtesy of the Lord Combermere, but not least the enthusiasm and commitment of Reubadub Promotions, they fetch a variety of the best music acts around to these free music events in the village.
A week last Thursday we had Nikki Rous, amazing voice, with a distinctive style, entertaining. With just a guitar, a voice and a presence, Nikki from nearby Shropshire delivered a mix of self-penned material with some interesting covers.
Originally Nikki had studied at a London stage school, and trained for many years as a classical singer, before sharing her soul through her own song writing and subsequent acoustic performances. Clearly a talented individual with a growing fan base, she really delivered a powerful vocal performance at the Lord C.
And so to last Thursday, "I don't know any other way to perform but by giving it my all" George Borowski commented as he finished his opening number. That was evident by the looks and smiles on the faces that surrounded me. That was a powerful indication of the performance that was to follow.
"I'd like to thank Darren Poyzer and Alisdair MacKenzie for playing earlier", George carried on. When someone like Darren Poyzer just turns up to see an act, you know it must be special, for him to feel privileged for playing an opening support slot, it has to be special.
The Lord C looked resplendent following its refurbishment, not least in the stage setting created by Nick Bayes, who also managed the sound, not lacking the 'Caution wet paint' sign on the back wall. The setting was set!
As covers go 'My old mans a dustman', was never performed live the way George Borowski performed it, he soon had the audience joining in. That was the only cover, a reflection of his nature, you would never feel lonely or out of place at one of George's gigs.
He engages you on a song writing journey through pop, rock, country and rock 'n roll, with his social commentary intertwined with haunting ballads and powerfully delivered lyrics. George Borowski even had the audience joining in with these previously unheard songs, such is his craft.
Joined by Paul Hambley on Keys and not withstanding the magic of the sax of Alisdair Grant MacKenzie on occasion, this was a gig you knew you had been to as George Borowski engaged the audience in word and song, with colourful stories and observations of a man whose lived a varied life.
Take the opening of what I shall call 'it's a myth'. "Who's come along tonight to see and hear Guitar George" Borowski asked, before it could be answered he sang out 'It's a myth, it's the truth" Poyzer sang back which created the impromptu pantomime routine, as George and the audience bantered back and forth "It's a myth, it's the truth" in various turns as George himself mixed the responses.
Still playing the rocky rift that accompanied this George regaled the story of Guitar George. During the late 70s George's band, The Out, played as a resident support slot to a number of the great and good bands emerging at that time.
On one of those evenings Mark Knopfler's Dire Straits took to the stage. It was after this performance that Mark Knopfler approached George and complemented him on his guitar. To which George offered him the old guitar as long as he promised to use it and not have it as a trophy on the wall.
George recalled "Knopfler said, that's a great guitar sound you've got. How come you don't play solos?" "The thing is, I can't really play solos, I just play chords." Borowski replied.
#Sultans Of Swing
So inspired, Knopfler wrote a song called Sultans Of Swing: "You check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords: Mind he's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing; And an old guitar is all he can afford; When he gets up under the lights to play his thing"
Oh, yeah, and then he cracked on with the rest of the song, I'll now remember it as 'The Truth'.
Want to know more about George Borowski?
#Want to know more?
- He is a great-nephew of the Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninov.
- George's track 'Who is Innocent' was played over a total of 40 nights by John Peel on his BBC radio show.
- He's played with Meat Loaf and was in Sad Café. (He's shared a stage with loads!)
- He's played maracas for Teenage Fanclub
- Been a guitar tech for the Pixies (whose Frank Black says that, "I've never seen a rock'n'roll performer so completely connected to what he was doing onstage")
- And, notoriously, he is Guitar George who knows all the chords.
- An unsung hero of Brit rock, he is George Borowski.
Sunday 15th Jul
Catalyst Science Discovery Centre, Widnes
4,Hayfields Grove, off Moorsfield Avenue
Audlem Car Park