Live review of Simon Thacker's Ritmata in the Cumberland Herald, April 2014


A virtuosi quartet from Scotland certainly made a big impression on their capacity audience at Orton last Saturday. Lead by left-handed  guitarist and visionary composer, Simon Thacker, Ritmata took the audience on a world tour of culturally inspired tunes interpreted for guitar, bass, piano and drums with consummate skill and breathtaking style.


 It may be a cliché to describe music which does not fit into one of a dozen humdrum categories as ‘world’ but Simon Thacker's Ritmata span styles and continents with such ease, that other definitions  pale and fall by the wayside. C13th Spanish miracle songs sit alongside Judeo-Spanish Sephardim romance and passionate Indian raga, Afghani rhythms, African and North American influences to create a musical experience buzzing with colour and energy.


Ritmata apparently translates as rhythmic, which is exactly how it felt, intimate but with plenty of depth and feeling, sometimes dark with flashes of South American colour, sometimes hot with middle eastern passion, never dull, the complex rhythms  occasionally bemusing, always leaving the listener with a light heart and a smile. It was a delight to hear such warm hearted music on a cold wet night.