From the "Banbury Guardian", August 1998

Prior to the Cropredy Festival. Many thanks to Martin Kinch for sending me the newspaper.

You just can't keep Roy Wood, one of the most colourful figures of rock, away from the Cropredy Festival. The hairy star of zany band Wizzard loves the atmosphere of the August folk extravaganza so much he comes back year after year. Roy is best known for his number one hits "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday", "Blackberry Way", "See My Baby Jive" and "Angel Fingers". Now this years festival goers are looking forward to wathing his spectacular 12 piece band, Roy Wood's Army, perform at Cropredy.

"I've been going for the past five years and Fairport Convention usually drag me up on stage to do a little bit with them," he told the Banbury Guardian.
"It's a great atmosphere. Dave Pegg has done a brilliant job organising it. They're all a great bumch of people and full marks to them. I've known Dave since he was about 17. He used to play in bands around Birmingham."

Roy Wood's Army features a seven-piece horn section, which blasts out intricate brass arrangements, and includes eight female musicians. Roy said: "Probably 75% of the act will be the hits from over the years because that's what people expect."

Roy Wood, now based in Derby, is one of Britain's most successful songwriters and has been responsible for about 30 chart hits. He also wrote the first song ever played on BBC Radio 1 - Flowers In The Rain - recorded by his first band The Move. After The Move split up he formed the Electric Light Orchestra before moving on to create the vibrant band, Wizzard. He last appeared at Cropredy with his current band, then called Roy Wood's Big Band, two years ago.

"We've played at a number of festivals recently. Cropredy is great because you're playing in front of a lot more people - getting on for 20,000."

"I get nervous before I go on. But as long as I wear brown trousers I'm all right," he said.

 


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