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MATTHEWS,IAN / ROBERTS,ANDY - LIVE AT THE BONINGTON THEATRE: NOTTINGHAM 1991 COMPACT DISC

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Andy Roberts and I go way back. 1970 to be precise. Yet, in 1990, we hadn't seen each other, or even been in touch for nigh on eight years. Not since the demise of Plainsong and my move to California....

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Andy Roberts and I go way back. 1970 to be precise. Yet, in 1990, we hadn't seen each other, or even been in touch for nigh on eight years. Not since the demise of Plainsong and my move to California. All of that changed one chilly evening in Brighton and re-cemented our ongoing friendship up until and including last years lockdown. I'd been living in Texas for a couple of years, playing and recording with my producer Mark Hallman and had just secured a decent UK tour on my newest album 'Pure and Crooked.' Mark however was unavailable due to studio work, or so he said. Just a year before, he and I had weathered a harsh British winter, both of us felled by a heavy flu on arrival, before eventually driving the length and breadth of those fair isles fulfilling our obligations. Close to the end of the tour we ended up in the nondescript back room of a pub in Brighton. I knew Andy was somewhere in the area, but didn't know how to contact him and certainly never expected to see him. It must have been the second, or third song when I scanned the crowd and low and behold, there he was, three rows back, dead center, with his then girlfriend (soon to be wife) Sal, beaming at me like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. My heart soared. Here we are in 2021 and still working together when the urge comes. We have tentative plans, pandemic willing, to play a few shows later this year and who knows, as long as we can remember the words and the chords, maybe even deeper into the millennium. I'd like to tell you I remember details of the Bonnington Theatre concert, but I don't. After all, it was thirty years and a few hundred shows ago. I do remember that it was family affair and we were playing a guest spot with Simon Nicol and Rick Sanders, our extended Fairport family. I do remember that touring and playing with Andy back then was always a blast. The performances never fell below an eight on the one to ten scale and this was no exception.

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