Monday, February 06, 2006

Phil Almond

I had known Bryan since the age of 7. I was at junior school with him and we were like minded souls. He was a natural eccentric - I had to work at mine. Even then, he drew people around him like a magnet. He was a naturally gifted entertainer. We shared the same jokes and surreal experiences. I was much shier and aspired to his wit and spontaneity. We often appeared in school plays.

Later on, we'd often bump into to each other around North Manchester: We'd both become songwriters around the age of 15/16 and would meet in the street, often on our way to rehearsals/recording or sometimes in the early hours of the morning, having stayed up all night and wandering in a daze back home. There was never a time when our paths didn't cross. I saw him through his Mod days, shuffling around in his fishtail parka, to playing on the same bill as him through Follies, Temple of Convenience, Star & Garter.

We always stopped to chat about our latest musical adventures, our latest singles, what we'd been recording, where we'd been playing. He never compromised and was one of the few songwriters who wrote from the heart and continually challenged. I hadn't seen him around for a few years but often thought of him and had a great deal of respect for his amazing talent. Bryan, I never thought I'd be writing this about someone with such a lust for life!

(The Blazing Snowmen)

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