Andy Roberts Music: Adrian Henri
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In 1999 Adrian Henri suffered another stroke. His friends got together to create a special evening to celebrate a special man.

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To say Adrian is a larger than life character is no understatement. He is one of life's largest. This man has fronted a rock band (although The Liverpool Scene couldn't be contained by the simple words 'rock band'), is a highly respected poet, and an award winning artist. And even these accolades can't do him justice. Tonight was a celebration of and for Adrian.

You can judge the affection for the man by the guest list for the evening at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. You might expect people like Andy Roberts to be high on the list, after all he has accompanied Adrian for over 35 years, not only in The Liverpool Scene but also as one of the country's leading poets. You might also expect Brain Patten and Roger McGough to add their names to programme.

When you also hear that John Gorman and Mike McGear re-united with Roger as The Scaffold for the night you know something special is taking place. Neil Innes (from GRIMMS), George Melly contributed their particularly unique blend of music and humour.

Leading 'wordsmiths' such as Carol Ann Duffy (the nearly Poet Laureate {written in 2000} but now Poet Laureate I'm pleased to say), Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell added to the occasion and helped turn the evening into a true extravaganza of laughter, tears, sighing and singing.

There was more, so much more. In the interval, whilst we all supped our beer and wine, the bars reverberated to the sound of a choir. In the second half Tom Robinson had us all singing 'Glad To Be Gay' and we were all happy to be. Andy played a lovely version of '64', which was of course the number of the house he and Adrian shared during the The Liverpool Scene days.

At the climax of the evening Adrian was brought to the front of the house in his wheelchair and slowly and I'm sure very painfully walked onto this familiar stage. I'm sure we all thought he wouldn't be able to get those words out, but with bravery and typical determination he slowly read 'Love Is'. That rendition will always be a special moment. My eyes were moist and I'm sure I wasn't alone.

It was an extraordinary evening and I felt privileged to be there.

PAUL CARY - 2000