In the early 1990s I spent a lot of time playing down at the Slug and Fiddle in Sheffield which was run by a “retired” musician called Herbie Armstrong.
Herbie Armstrong would regale the rest of us young pup musicians with tales about his days on the road with Van Morrison (he played with him during a golden period in the late 70s and early 80s) his days in Belfast with The Wheels and playing with Foxx (do you remember Single Bed?) and Yellow Dog (only this afternoon One More Night came up on random shuffle on the old Ipod.)
It was because of Herbie that I had the honour of singing “Under The Boardwalk ” at the request of, and with the original songwriter,Kenny Young ,on guitar.
Herbie was a great racontuer and my favourite story involved Kenny Young and Herbie travelling to London to see Van Morrison in concert,popping backstage to say goodbye and being ushered into a dressing room where Van was stood with Robert De Niro!!!
There were lots of other stories and lots of late night sing a longs playing Gram Parsons,Everley Bros,Van Morrison,Tim Hardin and The Band songs.
It’s been fifteen years ish since I saw Herbie and although I knew he was running a restaraunt and playing an occasional show it came as a surprise this evening to see Herbie Armstrong on Britains Got Talent.It was a shame that he was stopped by Amanda Holden half way through one of his own songs (although this may even have been pre arranged as these things often are) as Herbie wrote some beautiful tunes.To hear him knocking out a Van tune was disappointing as this is something he can do standing on his head and is the one thing he probably needs to get away from not get into.
Anyway it was nice to see him on telly (he was on a re run of Top Of The Pops last week with Foxx so I guess in some ways he is always on telly!) and good luck to Herbie Armstrong in the Britains Got Talent competition.