In his introduction Declan Zapala asked how many of the sizeable audience had been at his previous Fringe concerts over the past five years. A surprising number of hands went up, but maybe not surprising because Dec has created for himself a steady following for a niche all of his own. Hitting the frame of his guitar at the right time with the right ferocity as he plays along is his style.
Declan played his Broken Rhapsody followed by Isaac Albeniz's Asturias before letting Matt Buchanan take the stage. He described his classical guitar background eloquently and played for us an old favourite - Ye Banks and Braes, Robert Burns and arranged by Tony McManus. Randy Newman's She Loved Me and his own arrangement of the traditional Irish tune The Bucks of Oranmore followed.
An erudite John Wheatcroft took the stage with his jazz and blues expertise giving us Django Reinhart's Improvisation No 2 and his own Circle. The three guitarists joined forces for Django Reinhart's Minor Swing, Fleetwood Mac's Albatross and an arrangement of their own, Felicidade after Roland Dyens, the French classical guitarist who died last year. Persuaded by the audience to play an encore we heard Letter from Home - from Pat Metheny, the American jazz guitarist, but arranged by the three of them.
It was when Matt was describing the sound of the flight of pipistrelles, I remember looking up into the roof of St Columba's-by-the Castle which seemed such an appropriate venue for this charming, varied, educational and exhilarating concert.
Performance: Wednesday 16th August 2017 at 7.30pm and highly performances until Sunday 20th August 2017.