Kevin, and his wife of 28 years, Valerie, have been fans of ours for a couple of years now, ever since they saw us perform at the Rhythms of the World festival in Hitchin, in 2011 and then subsequently on BBC’s “Later … with Jools Holland”. Valerie had written to us a couple of times with love and admiration and we were thrilled to have such lovely fans!
When we announced our tour to the UK this summer, I got a message from Valerie who said she was thrilled we were coming back to her home town, Hitchin, but what she then told us, came as quite a shock to us. Kevin was diagnosed with COPD, and it was terminal. The doctors had not given him very long to live, and being the amazing family that they are, they were very open about it and wanted his time to be filled with happiness and things he loves.
And among those things was him wanting to watch our concert at the Rhythms of the World music festival in his hometown, Hitchin!
Just reading that message brought tears to our eyes and we were overwhelmed, to say the least. We definitely wanted to do something special for Kevin and planned an intimate concert in his living room, for him and his family. So yesterday, after we played at the festival, we went straight to Kevin and Valerie’s house, where we were joined by his son and son’s family as well as his daughter and son-in-law.
Amidst some good banter and a LOT of cakes (Thanks Val!), we got to spend time with this incredible family and hear about their stories in Goa, and their love for India and our music. Every minute spent there was inspiring for us and by this time, the entire band were big fans of Kevin and Valerie!
We also played a couple of songs and Kevin’s favourite song, “No Man will ever love you, like I do” to him and his wife, was in for a repeat request!
We still can’t imagine the enormity of the situation they are dealing with, but seeing them so positive and beaming with joy through this very difficult time makes us incredibly happy and we are blessed to know that our music can bring such a positive influence on people’s lives. Thank you Kevin and Val, you guys are phenomenal and we will carry you with us every where we go.
Best of luck with everything and take care of yourselves. Until next time!
UPDATE: Kevin fought bravely till the end and succumbed to COPD in early 2017. He is survived by his lovely family who are still big fans, well wishers and friends of the band!