ROY HARPER: Confessions of a hippie sage

Roy Harper at the Royal Festival Hall

Roy Harper has a glittering list of admirers, from Pink Floyd to Kate Bush. He tells Rob Hughes why it’s taken 13 years to make a new album.

Roy Harper has spent the past five decades crafting some of the most vivid, ravishingly beautiful music of our times. He’s 72 now, one of British folk-rock’s venerated elders, yet he’s only just discovered something. We’re in the midst of discussing his new album Man And Myth, a glorious return to the studio after 13 years’ silence, when he suddenly breaks off: “I’ve never said this before, but I have serious attention deficit. At school I was always daydreaming and fiddling in inkwells, but I had to learn to grow up and become articulate. And doing that was what brought me into writing songs. It’s like therapy for me, because it exposes what I’m really thinking. At last I kind of consciously understand myself in a way I’ve not done before.”

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