Review: Antonio Forcione & Tony Cox

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The Olympia Bakery was the perfect intimate setting for an outstanding performance by the two guitar virtuosos. The eccentricity of the place mirrored the alternative approaches to the guitar taken by the two performers and raconteurs – Cox’s dose of wild Afro-rock fusion, and Forcione’s softer jazzy, comedic, and gypsy-styled playing.

Cox took the audience along a journey through his (mis)adventures from Zimbabwe to South Africa, paying homage to traditional African style playing as well as merging an American mid-west bluegrass theme, creating a rich mix of sounds. His treatment of the repertoire created percussive sounds, and veered from the laid back to the frenzied. Even if you have not heard his music before, there is something engaging and mesmerising about his work that produces a unique listening experience.

Forcione weaved a more dream-like musical picture, taking the audience on a sensual, impassioned journey through the soulful sounds of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Heard It Through the Grapevine’, to insomnia-inspired ballades cooled by breezy Spanish flamenco nuances to create a tapestry of sounds from the traditional to the unusual. He ended off his set with an interesting and unusual rendition of ‘O Sole Mio’ whilst playing the guitar with…a hand fan. His excitement and passion for playing was evidenced by his comedic jumping up and down after each song.

The sold-out show left the audience begging for an encore. It was definitely a must see, and we can only hope that the two talented musicians don’t wait too long to give another performance together again.

Kate West

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