My first Roy Harper gig

My first Roy Harper gig


It was 1967 and I had been told by my friend Bob that I ought to check out this singer that he’d seen. He told me that he sounded like me. He talked about the same stuff. And that I’d love him. Bob was cool with his white plastic mac and black tousled hair. If he thought that then it was worth checking out.

I put it to the back of my mind.

I had recently been getting into Jackson C Frank, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. I had a motorbike and the means to get into London. The Sixties Underground was opening up to me. I was immersed in the Blues, West Coast Acid Rock and the Psychedelic/Progressive scene. It was all happening.

Les Cousins seemed to have it all when it came to the singer songwriter and what passed as ‘Comtemporary Folk’.

I headed up to catch a gig by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. It set me back a cool 20p.

Les Cousins was a basement club, down these stairs into the cellar laid out with tables and chairs and a stage. It was cozy.

Bert and John did individual sets and sandwiched in between was this fair-haired troubadour with a contagious chuckle and wicked mind. I didn’t twig straight away that this was the guy Bob had told me about. I was captivated by the patter. He only played three songs. I remember one was Blackpool. None of them were his epics. He hadn’t written those yet. But what he had to say and the power of him came straight across to me. I was smitten.

Roy Harper rocked my mind with the force of a tsunami. He was articulating the thoughts inside my head and putting them into words.

I knew I had to see him again soon, and quick, if for no other reason than to find out what I was thinking!

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