Last night I saw Joanna Newsom and unexpectedly stumbled upon another musical genius. I have to admit, it's taken me until the last few years to fully appreciate the music from the 60s and 70s, Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Velvet Underground etc. Roy Harper is one folk hero who I definitely did not know.
When I sat down next to an older man with enormous curly, blonde hair and behind a white haired couple, all excitable with anticipation I had no idea what to expect from the support. Turns out Roy is some sort of living legend. His songs are ridiculously long, with plenty of jamming on his guitar, copious amounts of string trickery and a voice that is pure rock haze. The man has some serious 60s spirit running through his veins. Looking him up when I got home, only reinforced this for me. Naked Roy on the front cover of his lyrics book. I'm not sure he would pose nude now, beard and whitened hair, he's older than 60... but then his ruffle fronted shirt indicates that he possibly would.
He chats with total ease throughout the set, as if he were opposite you at the dinner table, or more likely, on a sofa next with a whisky. He muses and almost lectures on topics ranging from God to one night stands. The latter, he sings about - a Francesca left in the morning. As those 60s liberated women did/could. Roy was and is a thinker though, and was left confused when he awoke to an empty bed. A poet, an 'over thinker' with plunging and soaring heart capabilities. Thoroughly not 'wet'- just cool. Once again I wish I was a 60s kid. The thrills and spills eh. Roy made music progress, it's how it is now because of people like him. And anyone that has contributed to folk, with all its basic and true beliefs can only be a positive person. Music was truly first starting to be used as a pourer, plaster and emotional blanket - as well as joyous explosion at this time.
Roy finished his set with 'Me and My Woman'. Which left the whole of Colston Hall singing "Me and My Wooooo-maaaaaan" in the break before Joanna Newsom.
Who incidentally is of course a legend in her own right. I'll post the link to my review of that one. But back to Roy, here is 'Me and My Woman'.