Blue skies ahead for Matt

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music - Sara Fitz­patrick

PERTH blues­man Matt Tay­lor is in har­mony with the uni­verse.

“I love it and I think it loves me,” he said.

Last June, how­ever, that rap­port was put to the ul­ti­mate test when the up­beat muso learnt he was suf­fer­ing from a rare form of can­cer.

Af­fect­ing just four peo­ple in a mil­lion, Walden­strom’s dis­ease sucked the en­ergy, but not the spirit, out of Tay­lor.

“They were testing me for Ross River virus and ev­ery­thing else as they just couldn’t fig­ure out what was wrong with me,” he said. “I could get out of bed but I wasn’t able to walk far.

“If I was feel­ing good, I could walk 100m up the road and back and then I would have to lie down for an hour or so.

“Then I got re­ally bad and luck­ily they took me into Royal Perth Hos­pi­tal and one of the can­cer docs was on that night and worked out what I had in about an hour.”

The for­mer front­man of Chain, renowned for hit song I Re­mem­ber When I Was Young, un­der­went six months of chemo­ther­apy, fol­lowed by six months of im­prove­ment.

“With mod­ern medicine and very pos­i­tive think­ing, I’m re­ally good now,” he shared.

The most chal­leng­ing part of the or­deal for Tay­lor was quit­ting mu­sic for sev­eral months.

“I play ev­ery day so that was very hard and I write songs all the time, so I was in a black hole for about five months,” he said.

“But as soon as I got the lit­tlest bit of en­ergy back, I pulled out the gui­tar and played for 10 min­utes a day.”

One of the gigs that took a back­seat last year was the Perth Blues Club’s Rhythm and Blues Va­ri­ety Re­vue. This year, how­ever, the con­cert will not go on with­out its hero.

The re­vue also fea­tures New Zealand gui­tarist Gray Bartlett and Lit­tle Birdy’s Katy Steele, who will per­form live with fa­ther Rick Steele for the first time.

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