Live review of Simon Thacker's Svara-Kanti in the Darlington and Stockton Times, June 2014


Darlington and Stockton Times

Svara-Kanti St.Andrew’s Church, Grinton

Friday 13th June 2014 in Weekend


“AWESOME, complex and breathtaking”.


These were just some of the words used to describe Simon Thacker’s Svara-Kanti.

They were quite simply a fantastic addition to this year’s Swaledale festival.

This was probably diversity in its wildest, yet most contained form.

Improvisation and composition combined.

Simon Thacker provided an amazing innovation. He is clearly an incredibly talented guitarist and composer, unique in adventure and experimentation.

Tabla master Sarvar Sabri comes from an amazing lineage, has performed for The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and provided driving rhythm with magical moves.

Japjit Kaur’s voice was hauntingly beautiful and, among many achievements, she was the songwriter for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Much Ado About Nothing.

Jacqueline Shave provided flawless, energised passion on the violin. She played an Italian violin dated 1752, which in itself was mesmerising.

The mixture of styles, personalities and influences combined to make something very special. The set opened with an almost Andalusian feel, and then quickly shifted over to Asia, merged with darker tones, followed by a touch of Africa’s wild rhythms, back to the Indian theme, before racing off on another world journey.

Every so often, there was something within the music, such as the tinkling of the Manjira, which remind you of falling water, and the fact that you were in Yorkshire, near the River Swale.

The cold stone walls of the old Norman Church, once known as “The Cathedral of The Dales” gave a base for the imagination, and both the sound and the lighting were perfect.

You could almost feel that there was a bit of Middle Earth in there somewhere.

If you get the chance to see them in whatever form, do.



Amanda Adams