Mrs F had bought us tickets to see Milos Karadaglic performing the opening night of his Back to Beatles concert with the English Chamber Orchestra a the Canterbury Festival last Friday.
Sadly at the last minute - well with a week to go - Milos pulled out of the concert since he has suffered a recurring hand injury and the advice of all the medical professionals was to stop playing and get it sorted out finally.
So in steps Craig Ogden. Remarkably he altered only two pieces from the original programme, one being that he inserted Asturias which as a core repertoire piece was simply replacing something with something he knew backwards. He dropped Whilst My Guitar Gently Weeps from the second half where most of the pieces were from Milos' latest album Blackbird. However this still meant him learning in a week 9 pieces and their unique arrangements and given three were with jazz bass accompaniment and others with the ECO as well. To say I was impressed is an understatement. I'd obviously have loved to see Milos but he was there to introduce both halves and talk with Craig about the "nightmare" arrangements. Craig though as I say was a revelation as a stand in - he captured the feel of the pieces as well as executing them to my ears flawlessly. My favourite was the rendition of Come Together where he really clicked with the jazz bass accompaniment.
Really enjoyable concert in the very posh surroundings of the Shirley Hall which is part of the King's School in Canterbury. You feel very small and insignificant though when sitting in an institution that claims to have been founded in 597. That isn't a typo - yes 597 - i.e. 1,419 years ago!