NeilCampbell

Biography

‘The best guitar playing I have heard for a long long time’ – Victor Wooten, bass player

‘an outstanding guitarist whose originality of thought makes him far more than just another gifted purveyor of finger acrobatics’ -Classical Guitar Magazine

‘a man whose fingers have the ability to harness any imaginable sound in any given style’ – Sean Bradbury, Getintothis

The music of Liverpool classical guitarist and composer Neil Campbell draws on elements of contemporary classical, progressive rock, jazz and other musical styles. His output includes pieces for solo guitar, guitar and cello, songs, instrumental pieces and choral music.

He has performed and recorded critically acclaimed albums with The Neil Campbell Collective, Bulbs, The Perri and Neil Quartet (with vocalist Perri Alleyne-Hughes) and others. He has also collaborated on live projects and recordings with Jon Anderson (Yes), Sense of Sound Singers, DJ Yousef, Anne Taft (Ghost Stories), Carlo Bowry (Wizards of Twiddly) and composer Gordon Ross. Over the last fifteen years he has performed support slots for artists as diverse as Thea Gilmore, Jan Ackerman (Focus), Vini Reilly (Durutti Column), bassist Victor Wooten, folk guitar legend Davey Graham and saxophonist Courtney Pine.

In 2009 he premiered his composition Frankenstein at St George’s Hall Concert Room. This was a 60 minute long piece for rock band, choir (Sense of Sound Singers) and multimedia visual projections based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel. This performance was later reprised at BBC Radio Merseyside in a live recorded broadcast featuring actor Gary Mavers as narrator in May 2010.

He has produced three CDs of solo guitar music Through the Looking Glass (2003), Night Sketches (2004) and Tabula Rasa Suite (2014) along with a book of his compositions for solo classical guitar. Neil’s solo performances are the stuff of legend and often involve him using loops and other technology to expand the sound and scope of what one performer can do with the classical guitar. As a soloist he has performed in the UK and Europe, and has been a regular performer at the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain. He particularly enjoys playing in ‘special’ venues and has performed solo concerts in spaces such as Union Chapel (London), Lancaster Priory, Birkenhead Priory, Sheffield Cathedral, Liverpool Central Library, John Ryland’s Library (Manchester), Chetham’s School of Music Library (Manchester) and St Lukes (Bombed Out) Church (Liverpool). In October 2013 took part in the legendary Irish Sea Sessions at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Following some time developing new arrangements of the music of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Joni Mitchell (with the Perri and Neil Quartet) over the last five years Neil has been particularly creative with the completion of two related albums ‘Tabula Rasa Suite’ (2014) and ‘eMErgence’ (2015) and the formation in 2017 of a new ‘concept’ band After the Flood with Marty Snape (Bulbs/Zeb/Babadub), Viktor Nordberg (Perri and Neil Quartet) and Roger Gardiner (Dead Poppies/Perri and Neil Quartet).

In 2016 he contributed as co-writer to three sections on Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt’s ‘Invention of Knowledge’ CD. In 2017 he released the spoken word/music album ‘Estuary’ with Seán Street and Perri Alleyne-Hughes. In 2018 he released the neo-Baroque solo album ‘The Outsider/News from Nowhere’, a concept album based on William Morris’s utopian socialist novel, and the first part of a trilogy of concept albums planned for release in 2018, which will include the debut album of ‘After the Flood’.