It’s three years ago since I first saw Roy Harper, the singer-songwriter folk rock guitarist. Everything I said about him in the blog I wrote after that gig still stands. The man’s a genius. As well as being very, very funny.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to stand up for the whole gig at the Camden’s Jazz Café, due to my current stubborn back problem, so I upgraded our tickets so we had seats in the restaurant. Moth and I found ourselves sitting at the table next to Jimmy Page, Led Zeppelin’s guitarist, who is both an old friend and big fan of Roy.
Above: Jimmy Page watches his friend Roy Harper play
Roy sang and played his way through a set lasting just over an hour and half, but felt like five minutes, highlights of which included Hangman (surely the best anti-capital punishment treatise ever written), Commune (which had me blubbing only a short way through the first verse), Green man, Me and my woman, finally finishing up with the haunting When an old cricketer leaves the crease. I was spellbound, and as expected, moved to tears.
I love everything about this man: the chiming purity of his guitar sound, the magical chord sequences, the intensity of his voice, his uncompromising values (all of which I share) poetically expressed in his lyrics, his intelligence, integrity, honesty and humour.
If you haven’t heard any Roy Harper before, I recommend you try his albums Stormcock, Folkjokeopus or Bullinamingvase. There’s a massive 40-year back catalogue to choose from!
Photos: Moth Clark
Short blog due to difficulties using a computer