Roy Harper has recently returned with a raved-about new album, Man & Myth, and a UK tour, including a date at London’s prestigious Royal Festival Hall on October 22 – he’s arguably bigger than he has been since the mid-‘70s. Celebrating Harper’s 70th birthday back in July 2011 (Take 170), Uncut speaks to Roy about tales of escapes from psychiatric hospitals, tempestuous dealings with the music business, and the sinister connection between Tony Blair and Cliff… Words: Allan Jones
“I am guilty,” says Roy Harper, “of taking you on some strange journeys, I have to admit.” We are two songs into a solo Harper show to mark the release of his first new album in 13 years, taking place in a record shop (Rough Trade East) and being streamed live on the internet; a confluence of events that clearly amuses the singer on some essential and bemused level.
Roy Harper has confirmed details of his new album, Man And Myth, which includes a guest spot from Pete Townshend.
The seven-track album is Harper's first studio album since The Green Man in 2000 and will be released by Bella Union on September 23.
The track listing for Man And Myth is:
1. The Enemy
2. Time Is Temporary
3. January Man
4. The Stranger
5. Cloud Cuckooland
6. Heaven Is Here
7. The Exile
Roy Harper arrives on stage at the Festival Hall with a healthy selection of excuses. He hasn’t played in three years. He’s only had half a soundcheck. He met the soundman at four o’clock – no, at ten past five. The first song is brought to a temporary halt after about thirty seconds, due to his guitar sliding on the passport secreted in his trouser pocket.