Last night to the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford to see Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. This is probably how you remember Acker with his clarinet and trademark Bowler Hat, playing "Stranger on the Shore"
Acker's 81 now and still doing the rounds, although his Paramount Jazz Band are all somewhat younger - and presumably not the originals. This is more like how he looks today, although even this picture was taken six years ago:
Despite his advancing years, he still provides a great evening's entertainment, with a mixture of anecdotes, jokes (clean and very funny) and, of course, superb jazz, although I think he'd be the first to admit that he gets a lot of support from the other band members throughout the gig these days.
The Bowler Hat is still donned for his solo performance of "Stranger on the Shore", a tune that broke all sorts of music records in the 1960s and which you might as well read about here on Wikipedia rather than me write it all out again!
So why shouldn't I be writing about him like this? Well, what I should be doing right now is steering "Starcross" down the Shroppie from Norbury Junction to Brewood, ready to use it as my base for a bus trip to the Black Country Boating Festival at Windmill End. Instead, I'm sat at home with a stinking cold and raging sore throat that came on during the course of the concert and which saw me going straight to bed as soon as I got in.
There's still a chance that I'll get to the festival tomorrow, but now it will have to be by train from Hereford - a poor substitute for a weekend on the cut.