Martin Simpson caught a bit of the sun in Martin Taylor's Perthshire garden before they drove up to the Fair City for this Perth Festival concert.

The image of the two guitarists having an alfresco play in the afternoon was easily summoned up in the evening as this felt just like a couple of old pals getting together for a few tunes. They may be two of the guitar world's great talents but while generally making an enjoyable sound, they couldn't quite bring out the spark of inspiration in each other that would have lifted this gig to the expected heights.

In comparison to his authoritative performance in Edinburgh earlier this month, Simpson seemed lethargic, his solo spot producing songs without real conviction and his contributions to the duo sets that opened and closed the concert only occasionally getting out of the low gears creatively.

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The opening duet of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time, lacking the sense of desolation that Miles Davis gave it in bringing it into the jazz canon, set a lukewarm standard and it was only as Simpson coaxed some audience participation on Little Liza Jane that the heat potential of Simpson's picking and sliding and Taylor's bluesy virtuosity began to reveal itself.

Taylor's solo section had some delicious moments, not least a brilliant sequence of stuttering basslines and staggered passing chords on his superbly swinging They Can't Take That Away From Me, and his George Benson-esque improvising over Simpson's acoustic groove on Swing Low Sweet Chariot was genuinely thrilling. Overall, though, there's surely more fizz lurking in these talented fingers than we heard here.

HHH