Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Lightning Thieves at Wymondham Music Festival, Norfolk

 The Lightning Thieves are heading to Norfolk for a concert at Wymondham Abbey, 7.30pm on Saturday 22 June, part of Wymondham Music Festival Fortnight

Here they play Blues Kopenitza by Adam Summerhayes. Buy tickets online at

This is their story.

Adam Summerhayes first suggested the concept of The Lightning Thieves to David Gordon on a tiny plane leaving Kodiak Island, Alaska, between fog banks - on a morning when only their plane got to the island. Jets couldn’t land but because this plane was old, slow, and had propellers, it was successful. After a short silence, David gave the requisite “Let’s do it” - and the long process began.

David and Adam have covered much of the world together – mostly with the Gypsy Tango band ZUM. Adam’s stories include unexpectedly meeting a grizzly at 50 feet in Yellowstone Park …  struggling over Alaska’s highest pass in the beginnings of the snowstorm that closed it for the winter … being driven at 120 miles an hour through a sandstorm in the Saudi Arabian desert … getting huge purple ears from frostbite … being rescued from a midnight swim in a large midwinter lake by following the light of a mobile phone on the shore … being stopped by US border police on suspicion of transporting Mexican immigrants - it all sounds like something that Michael Palin might have gone through in one of his less well planned expeditions.

Adam is on record as saying that he can not imagine respecting any musician more highly than David, but he also reports that David was single-handedly responsible for parking the tour van in a large sandpit from which it had to be towed, after an hour of fruitless digging. Apparently, though, David’s towering moment of genius was loitering with his heavily loaded trolley under the “NO MEAT - NO FISH” sign halfway through Gatwick customs. His large polystyrene box frozen Alaskan halibut was conspicuously positioned on top and clearly labeled with the word FISH all over it in large red letters.

The colourfulness of their touring stories is amply reflected in their remarkable, specially composed music -  brilliantly played on electric violin and harpsichord, plugged into a myriad of electronic devices.  This is refreshing and exhilarating, with grooves and melodies containing influences from around the world spiced with bursts of spontaneous improvisation, resulting in an unfamiliar but wholly accessible feast of sound

Both musicians have impeccable musical pedigrees, with worldwide touring and radio airplay both of their performances and compositions and are no strangers to venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Wigmore Hall and the South Bank Centre. They have each featured on around 20 CD recordings – to great critical acclaim.

The Lightning Thieves concert includes a track of Adam’s from Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes blockbuster. The track was included in the movie, against the odds, because of its sheer accessibility and vibrancy – attributes that are a defining feature of the instantly accessible and highly memorable music of this duo.