“The adventures of Andy Kershaw : an evening with the legendary broadcaster and foreign correspondent’ took the audience at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre on a tour of his action-packed life, drawn from his autobiography, aptly titled, No Off Switch.
In trademark checked shirt and khaki shorts, looking for all the world as if he had just breezed in off the Saharan sand dune on his publicity poster, he focused on how his passion for music has shaped his life.
His gravelly Rochdale tones and unrelenting energy, emphatic opinions and ‘elephantine memory’ of the bands ‘seen in their prime’, punctuated by bursts of his most loved music, from Chuck Berry to Dylan to the Bhundu Boys, led us from his early years as a student Ents Soc officer at Leeds University (where he sacrificed his degree to his passion for music), to the Old Grey Whistle Test, Live Aid and Radio One DJ.
Andy talked of his years with the inimitable John Peel and John Walters (the producer), as ‘three friends sharing enthusiasms with the nation’.
Highlights of his life were opening doors for unknown artists, for example Ali Farka Toure (1939- 2006) and the much under-appreciated Michael Carr the American rhythm and blues and soul singer (1942-2001).
Sadly, time did not allow for more than a short exploration of his experiences as an international journalist.
Marion Codd and Annie Morgan