Waves (Guthrie Govan)

In a jarring follow-on from Carole King-brand late-night serenity, melodic prog-shred produced by the nimble fingers of a genial hippy from Chelmsford.

In Britain, ‘Year Zero’ and the advent of punk dealt guitar virtuosity a terminal blow, with fumbling ‘authenticity’ prized over what was seen as the overblown indulgence of the solo-heavy Genesises and Pink Floyds. While the punks may have had a point, they managed to instil a deep suspicion of actually being able to competently play your chosen instrument in British music that’s only just wearing off in the 2010s.

On the one hand, this has unleashed the likes of Matt Bellamy to noodle euphoric nonsense at baying teenagers in stadium arenas, but on the other it’s brought us the critically-lauded superbly-named Guthrie Govan. Not only staggeringly able on his chosen instrument when on guitar-hero default-setting, Govan can effortlessly switch from super-fast squealing to jazz, blues and funk, demonstrating an unbelievable versatility that can only come from 40 years of doing little else other than playing a guitar – trawl YouTube for videos of him expertly, self-effacingly playing in a breath-taking array of styles.

This here live performance of one of his more tempestuous compositions, ‘Waves’, was captured for your enjoyment at a Californian music equipment trade show in 2010.

For some annoying reason, if you want to actually watch the video bit of a WordPress-embedded YouTube video rather just hear the audio, you have to either watch it fullscreen or click to watch it on YouTube itself.