I was sorry to learn that Chris Rea had suffered yet another heart attack whilst performing in Oxford the other evening - the 35th gig of his current tour. He was rushed to hospital and his condition was described as `stable,` which was better news than might have been expected. He has naturally had to cancel a couple of shows, although there might be an outside chance that he could fulfil the last engagement of the current tour at Bournemouth tomorrow evening. Let`s hope that signifies a full recovery might be possible but something tells me he would be better off putting his feet up and getting a decent rest. After all, he`s 66 now.
He is perhaps best known for a whole string of hit records including Driving Home for Christmas and The Road to Hell. But for me, his most memorable compositions and performances came when he wrote and sang about his birthplace of Middlesbrough. I know little about Middlesbrough - David Armstrong, the former Saints midfield dynamo was signed from Middlesbrough FC and, more recently, a very good friend from my National Service days hailed from there before he left us a year or so ago.
But you get a real flavour of the town in some of Chris Rea`s songs about the place - Stainsby Girls, Steel River and especially Windy Town, probably my favourite from all of his large and impressive collection. So, leave the Road to Hell behind and get on the Road to Recovery, Chris. Here`s `Windy Town`:-