A rollercoaster life leads Jimmy Lee to Royston on Friday night

Jimmy Lee brings his Edge Of Chaos orchestra to Royston

Jimmy Lee brings his Edge Of Chaos orchestra to Royston - Credit: Archant

If someone tried to pitch Jimmy Lee’s life as a novel or a feature film, the storyline would probably be rejected as too fanciful by half.

Born in a remote Sussex farming community, he had a rocky start in life – taken into care when he was just four, by the time he was nine he had already had 10 homes and 11 different schools.

When singing in school and church choirs, he discovered that displays of emotion were not always seen as a sign of weakness, and that led to music becoming his enduring salvation.

A grim spell in the navy, a tragic family life and run-ins with the IRA while living in the west of Ireland are just some of the episodes in a rollercoaster life that provides material galore for music from the heart.

He took his first steps towards a music career in the London folk scene, playing alongside the likes of Roy Harper and Ralph McTell, performing for beer and a bed in the capital’s back street clubs.

Years on the road saw him hone a sound which blended folk and country with what has since become known – and very fashionable – as Americana.

But further setbacks forced him to turn his back on music and develop a small but successful sporting estate, until he created the Blue Coconut Music Club as part of the portfolio and went on to build an enviable reputation for the venue.

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From there it was inevitable that he returned to performing, accompanied by some of the finest musicians he could gather, and the Edge of Chaos Orchestra aims to combine classical and traditional instruments to criss cross a challenging variety of genres.

You can find out what that sounds like when they play Royston Folk Club on Friday night.

There’s support from Beau Jangles and tickets are £12 (£10 in advance) or just £2 if you are under 25. Doors open at 7pm for an 8pm start at The Old Bull In in Royston High Street – find out more online at www.roystonfolk.org

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