Well... What a great day I had on Thursday. I left my little cottage near the Pembrokeshire seaside to venture back to Cardiff, my old stomping ground. The day had a dual purpose.
In the afternoon, I had been invited to the home of Welsh legend, Andy Fairweather Low, to conduct an interview in his own relaxed environment. I've met Andy a couple of times before - once when I introduced him at a Blues festival and again at a gig and both times I'd managed to get a fifteen (or so) minute interview. But I always felt that there was much more to learn about this man who has been a professional musician, in one guise or another, for over fifty years. So, yesterday, we sat in his dining room, with no fixed agenda and allowed the interview to flow conversationally. He told me lots about his time as front-man of the hugely successful Amen Corner, why it became impossible to continue that band and why he instead formed his own band, Fairweather. Following this came his time as an eponymous solo performer and then we covered his career as the go-to rhythm guitarist for the likes of Roger Waters, George Harrison and Eric Clapton with whom he's just completed some Japanese dates as well as playing on Eric's new CD release, 'I Still Do'. And, of course, we discussed Andy's own band, The Lowriders, and how delighted he is with their recent successes. I'll be editing this wide-ranging interview over the next couple of weeks and will produce an hour-long special incorporating Andy's own choice of his music (as well as some of my own selections). Details will be posted here in advance of broadcast.
So, that was a very satisfying afternoon and I'm really grateful to Andy for taking the time to chat and, of course, for inviting me to his home. Here's a photo from a previous encounter to keep you going...
And then... In the evening, highly-talented band Glas were playing in the Royal Oak on Broadway (knew I'd get there one day), recording a new live album in front of a dedicated crowd of devotees. I've followed Glas for a couple of years now and really rate their individual and collective skills. It was a crushed, sweaty affair but they had invited me to host the evening and I was honoured to do so. The Royal Oak has seen the birth of many southWalian Blues music careers from legendary Snatch It Back (I chatted with their bassist Paul Billy Higgins last night)to Mark Pontin (Mark was heading the recording process for the gig) so this was a super springboard for Glas and the live CD. There were also many other familiar faces in the audience including local promoter, Mike Duggan, who had left his native Barry for a night out. And my sometime jam-mate, star-to-be Bella Collins, was taking a rare night off. I'll be writing a full review of the gig on the appropriate page of this website shortly and hopefully reviewing the CD very soon too.
(This photo is courtesy of Carl Deabreu).
Driving home on Thursday night, reflecting on the day, I realised how very fortunate I am to be involved with the Blues music scene.
Whatever next, I wonder?