May 3, 2015 - W2 Poppodium, Den Bosch (NL)

G3 is a concert tour organized by guitarist Joe Satriani featuring him alongside two other guitarists. Since its inception in 1995, G3 has toured most years and has featured many guitarists, including Steve Vai. Now in Great Britain a same kind of concert concept has been realised. It got the name GB3 and consists of three British virtuoso guitarists. The project originated in 2014 when guitarist and keyboard player Dave Bainbridge (Iona), guitarist Paul Bielatowicz (Carl Palmer Trio, Neal Morse) and guitarist
Dave Brons decided to do a performance together. The project was at first called B3, because their last names all begin with the letter 'B'. Later the name was changed in GB3, because they all come from 'Great Britain'. Only three guitarists on board are not enough to make a decent performance. Therefore a rhythm section is most certainly required to assist the three musicians on their musical path of playing complex compositions with long but most of all exiting solos. On their quest to find a suitable drummer and bass player they came across Simon Fitzpatrick (Carl Palmer Trio, Jennifer Batten) on bass and Collin Leijenaar (Neal Morse, Affector) on drums. However Collin had to withdraw because of a serious arm injury. He was replaced on short notice by John Biglands who plays in the Dave Brons Band. The musicians in G3 are specialised in making metal music. As for GB3, their style goes beyond the frontiers of guitar orientated rock and move towards a combination of epic progressive rock with classical, Celtic influences and atmospheric soundscapes. All done without a vocalist, so instrumentals only.

The set was going to be divided in three different musical parts in which each guitar player was going to be in the spotlight. Plus an extra final set where everybody would join in.
Dave Brons

Dave Brons

The whole musical spectacle was opened by the shortest set of all. During the first half hour the spotlight was most of all on Dave Brons. He was given his first guitar in 1991 and since that time he can't live without his instrument. He is really looking forward to release his album Based On A True Story later on in 2015. An album to be produced by Dave Bainbridge. During his set he was accompanied by the earlier mentioned rhythm section plus Dave Bainbridge behind the keyboards. Thanks to Dave's keyboard contributions the music had a lot of progressive rock influences. Most of all songs such as Miracle Maker, Crucified and Voyager turned out to be very pleasant for lovers of this genre. However it didn't mean the other songs were less enjoyable. No way! Also the introductions in between the songs turned out to be rather funny from time to time. Like when Brons talked about Desert Rose, which took him twenty years to compose. But he stated it wouldn't last that long to play. After this first set of excellent performed instrumental music it was time for the second guitar maestro.

Paul Bielatowicz

Paul Bielatowicz's first love was gymnastics and he got his first guitar around the age of seven. Soon after that he took classical guitar lessons for one year. Therefore it seemed a bit strange that the whole set, based around his guitar playing, was to be included classical compositions. Well I guess his love for this style of music was always present when he started to become a professional guitar player with the Carl Palmer Trio and Neal Morse. During his set he was accompanied by bassist Simon Fitzpatrick and drummer John Biglands. They most
Paul Bielatowicz
certainly had to learn to play some extremely difficult compositions. Most of all Fitzpatrick turned out to be as important as Bielatowicz himself. The works of the many classical composers turned out to be a very recognizable feast for my ears. Most of all because many of them were in one way or another already done by popular artists and therefore known to me. For instance the arrangement that the band Sky made of J.S. Bach's Toccata And Fugue In D minor. Paul chose to use the same arrangement for their version because it also includes a rhythm section. I will not mention every composition they did, but I can't forget to mention the nice introduction Paul made before they did Vivaldi's Four Seasons. All of them coming from the UK with the bad weather it was appropriate to include this fine piece of classical music as he stated. Also Paul's solo spot for Clair De Lune by Debussy needs to be mentioned. Just like the solo spot of Simon Fitzpatrick. The way he did Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody all on his own on a bass guitar was simply breathtaking. Just like all of the performed classical stuff; songs that all appeared on Paul's solo album Preludes & Etudes (2014), only without the drums but with the excellent bass parts of Fitzpatrick. The last guitar maestro was next.


Dave Bainbridge

Dave Bainbridge was without a doubt the most well known musician on stage. Most of the audience known him as the guitarist and keyboard player in the UK based Celtic folk/rock/ambient band Iona, which he co-founded in 1989 with David Fitzgerald. The reason that he is a very gifted and talented musician lies probably in the fact that he already started piano lessons at the age of 8 and guitar
Dave Bainbridge
lessons (from his dad) at 13. For his set the same musicians as Mr. Brons' shared the stage. It was obvious that during this set songs from Iona and David's solo albums could be enjoyed. However partly due to the fact that Collin Leijenaar wasn't able to perform but also the fact not a lot instrumentals are featured on Celestial Fire (2014, see review) this album could not be heard. However from his first solo album Veil Of Gossamer two pieces could be enjoyed. Namely the up tempo Over The Waters and a piano only version of the title track which he did completely on his own. From Iona a more guitar version of Jig, the second part of Songs Of Ascent and a part of Heaven's Bright Sun were done in an excellent way. During the Brons set Dave was the keyboard player, but during his own set he showed that he was an great guitar player as well. Like during the traditional Angel Of God. A strong mellow piece of music which again he played all by himself. Just playing on his electric guitar along with pre-recorded keyboard parts. More faster guitar parts from Dave could be enjoyed when he performed The Storm with his backing band. After his strong set was done Dave invited Paul and Dave back on stage to play more strong music together.


Now with everybody on board the real party started. First a piece titled Voyagers Return. It was a great track with first a strong dual guitar part between Brons and Bielatowicz. Followed by some great piano parts done by Bainbridge. Even Fitzpatrick got some room to shine on his instruments. Next was Paul Bielatowicz in the spotlight for his solo. Followed by Dave Bainbridge. He got a chance to
play a guitar solo as well because Dave Brons replaced him behind the keyboards temporarily. Finally Brons got a chance to shine as well by playing an excellent solo just like all the others did! Next up was a tribute to the music Bielatowicz and Fitzpatrick perform with the Carl Palmer Trio by performing the Nice track America. Originally taken from the musical West Side Story from which Leonard Bernstein composed the music. The bands version was really an awesome version. With Bainbridge playing the cool organ parts just like Keith Emerson originally did in the late sixties. Furthermore they included an excellent improvised jam part. The final song of the set was for Dave Brons; probably the most difficult part of the entire show. Iona's Castlerigg isn't just a tune you can play without practising a lot of times. This beautiful instrumental piece has parts, which are most of all originally performed on the guitars and pipes, which go faster and faster all the time. Brons had the task to do the pipes parts and I guess he must already have been sweating only thinking about playing them! But I have to say he managed very well, just like all the others on stage, to give a descent version of this complex composition. So bravo to all of them!

Anybody who has witnessed one of the two shows GB3 did in the Netherlands during the first weekend in May of 2015 can tell you they have witnessed something unique! Five excellent, kind and most of all very talented musicians gave performances on their instruments that made the jaws drop of the people in front of them. I was glad I was one of them! Just amazing!

Henri Strik (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

Live videos

   Henri & Roel Strik

Voyager (5:40)
Toccata And Fugue In D Minor (6:17)
Angel Of God (3:33)
America (6:40)

Setlist Dave Brons:

Kai Rohan
Miracle Maker
Desert Rose

Setlist Paul Bielatowicz:

Flight Of The Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov)
William Tell Overture: Finale (Rossini)
Toccata And Fugue In D minor (J.S. Bach)
Clair De Lune (Debussy)
The Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)
Piano Sonata No. 14 (Moonlight), Presto Agitato (Beethoven)

Pictures GB3 by Angelo Hulshout

>>> Click here to view all pics on one page.

Click on the picture to enlarge.


Setlist Dave Bainbridge:

Over The Waters
Veil Of Gossamer
Songs Of Ascent Part 2
Angel Of God
The Storm
Heaven's Bright Sun

Setlist GB3:

Voyagers Return

Line up GB3:

(left to right)
John Biglands:
drums and percussion
Paul Bielatowicz:
electric guitar
Dave Brons:
electric guitar and additional keyboard
Simon Fitzpatrick:
bass guitar
Dave Bainbridge:
electric guitar and keyboards
(picture by Ron Kraaijkamp)

All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2015