Just over 4 years ago, I picked up a guitar again. I played a bit at school and university, but only in the bedroom, and I didn't know much and I wasn't much good. I'd decided to have another go, and I relearned some stuff I'd known years ago, and got books and things to learn new stuff. My goal was to get good enough to be able to perform in public to a decent standard - one that gave the audience some respect for their time, and made me feel reasonably satisfied.
I'd known about a monthly sing-around session in Stony Stratford for a little while and got to the point where I though I'd give it ago. I did OK. At that session, someone told me about a weekly Sunday lunchtime session at a nearby pub, so I went along to that, which was where I met Matt.
He welcomed me, encouraged me, punctured me when I became complacent, and generally gave me a place where, week in and week out, I could try things out in supportive company. He'd been doing that for 25 years when I started.
I'm not great at what I do, but I'm much better than I would have been without the Vaults Bar on Sundays, and Matt Armour, in the chair, ruling with the proverbial iron fist in the equally proverbial velvet glove.
I only knew him for three and a half years, but I'll always be grateful to him. I'm sorry he's gone (especially for his family), but I'm glad it was quick. I wouldn't wish the long decline that might have been on him or anyone. And he was there, the day before he went, at the Vaults, in the chair, doing what he did