Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
The arena at Shepherd’s Bush Empire is something different: gone are the rowdy teenagers swarming the stage, in their place are rows of orderly seats suggesting The Colonel and the Governor are throwing quite a civilised affair. Hailing from Australia and Britain, respectively, master guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor celebrate the release of their new album in effortless style, taking to the stage in suits and politely thanking the audience.
It’s clear from the off that the pair share a passion for what they do. They bounce off each other throughout Heatwave, a bluesy number dedicated to their 1930s heroes. What is really stunning about the duo is their showmanship – they naturally gel together and exude an energy that gives away their years in the business.
Tommy Emmanuel performs a shining solo set during which he barely stops plucking his guitar, flowing from one number to the next with a cool that shows just why he’s held in such high esteem. Secret Love is a stand out: Emmanuel displays his technical ability with complex harmonies, keeping a baseline and chords flowing whilst picking a beautiful melody over the top – all the while charming the audience with his cheeky personality.
Whereas Emmanuel moves his whole body to the rhythm of his music, Taylor is much more reserved, complementing his partner’s up-tempo blues tracks with a softer, jazzier sound – I’m Old Fashioned is a favourite. Taylor captivates the audience with heartwarming storytelling between numbers, proving his quality as an entertainer.
The Colonel and the Governor are a true delight to watch, contrasting elegantly with each other, yet sharing an astounding passion and ability for creating music that makes them mesmerising.
Photos: Federica Sclippa
For further information and future events visit Tommy Emmanuel’s website here.
Watch the video for Heat Wave here: