Musician set to play after cancer recovery

From left - Rick Steele, Matt Taylor and Sue Bluck at Astor Theatre. Picture: Marcus Whisson d438478
From left - Rick Steele, Matt Taylor and Sue Bluck at Astor Theatre. Picture: Marcus Whisson d438478

BELOVED Perth bluesman Matt Taylor is in harmony with the universe.

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

Last June, however, that rapport was put to the ultimate test when the upbeat muso learned 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 explained.

“I could get out of bed but I wasn’t able to walk far. If I was feeling good, I could walk 100mup 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 front man of Chain, renowned for hit song I Remember When I Was Young, underwent six severe months of chemotherapy, followed by six months of improvement.

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

“The beautiful thing about this experience and going to a cancer ward is that you learn there is always someone 10 times worse than you.

“It’s a real little wakeup call and you must see it as a new lease on life.”

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 mins 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 without its hero.

“I’m doing great now. I say to my cancer; ‘I’m not fighting you. You’re harming my organism, which is doing neither of us any good,” Taylor revealed.

“If you want to stay in my body, that’s fine, but don’t cause any problems.”

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

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Perth Blues Club’s 12th Annual Memorial Showcase – A Rhythm and Blues Variety Revue

Where: Astor Theatre, Mt Lawley

When: Saturday, June 20

Tickets: www.astortheatreperth.com