Some short takes on The Mandolinquents. . . for full length reviews of concert performances and albums please choose the 'Downloads' link to the right).
"Folk, jazz, swing, Grieg, Rimsky-Korsakov, John Clare, Smetana - plus funny intros, wit and sparkle in this live set from the eclectic, virtuosic quartet."
"there's serious musicianship at play... truly uncategorisable: a bracing alternative to boxed-in listening."
"top quality musicianship and accompanying humour... a find of true class... highly recommended to anyone seeking a 21st -century example of British wit and skill."
"underpinning the laugh-a-minute informality was virtuosity and accomplishment."
"Their musicianship is abundantly excellent, while the music itself is intelligently arranged and always leavened with an equally delicious sense of fun."
Mandolinquents - Chipping Sodbury Music Society
- Chipping Sodbury Town Hall
"A packed house at the March concert enjoyed a fun evening with the Mandolinquents. Simon Mayor, Gerald Garcia, Hilary James and Richard Collins, a convivial mandolin quartet, gave a wide-ranging programme designed to meet all tastes.
In a generous selection of works ranging from the classical to the popular it would be ideal to mention them all but space limitation means I will have to pick out some highlights. Outstanding was the BUTTERMERE WALTZ by Simon Mayor, inspired by his Lake District rambles. This nostalgic piece was touched with distinction. Vivaldi’s CONCERTO FOR MANDOLIN was played with a light and luminous touch; the slow movement poised and the finale full of rhythmic energy. Of the many delightful songs by Hilary James mention must be made of LOCH LOMOND, sung with great feeling and sensitivity.
Excerpts from CARMEN by Bizet and Dvorak’s Eighth Slavonic Dance were both pacy and purposeful and banjo solos by Richard Collins in the country and western idiom were enthusiastically received. However to this reviewer the highlight of the evening was the short but very beautiful Chinese melody entitled SUMMER. This haunting work was caressed and shaped with obvious affection. For an encore the audience was encouraged to join in the choruses of the SPIDER IN THE SHED which it did with obvious relish. To see the ease with which all manner of different sized mandolins were played was to appreciate the sheer professionalism of this hugely talented quartet. Truly this was a concert to remember."
Gerry Philp – 16 March 2012 Chipping Sodbury Gazette