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Lewes Guitar Festival - BJ Cole

So you thought the pedal steel guitar was a country and western instrument? Think again. Over the last 30 years BJ Cole has been applying its liquid, yearning sound to all sorts of different genres from ambience to crooning, from blues to jazz, from electro-pop to heavy metal. Cole is a musicians’ musician, whose ‘has recorded with’ cv is just about the best in the business: from the cool (Alabama 3, Groove Armada, Dexy’s) via the mainstream (Moody Blues, REM, Squeeze, Elton John) to the downright silly (Showaddywaddy, Ken Dodd, The Wombles). A pedal steel guitar is a curious machine: first glance at BJ Cole on stage and it looks like he’s playing the keyboards. In fact the instrument consists of two guitar necks placed horizontally on a stand – directly below sit nine pedals, which are used to change the tunings on the strings. This makes the contraption – a development of the lap steel guitar - about the most versatile electrical stringed instrument in the business.

Tonight Cole will be appearing alongside regular live collaborator, Emily Burridge. Burridge is a classically trained cellist with an experimentalist bent who has developed a unique musical relationship with Cole. They use pieces by composers as diverse as Henry Purcell, Aaron Copeland and Erik Satie, as a springboard for drifting off into their world of harmonic improvisation. AL

King Cole: pedal steel guitar maestro

All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes
When? 8pm
How Much? £12/£10
Lewes Guitar Festival
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