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.
We 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