We and Jimmy Page spellbound by Roy Harper

At the Jazz Cafe, Camden, 2010

We and Jimmy Page spellbound by Roy Harper
6th June 2010 Jane Tomlinson

It’s three years ago since I first saw Roy Harper, the singer-songwriter folk rock guitarist. The man’s a genius. As well as being very witty.

Roy Harper plays watched by Jimmy PageWe upgraded our tickets at London’s Jazz Cafe so we had seats in the balcony 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.

Pictured: 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