There will never been another quite like David Hughes. He was simply a one off. His vision to create traditional Christmas carols with a curve led to the creation of St Agnes Fountain, he was our founding father but he was so much more than that. His unique style of rhythm, of hearing and playing a groove, his satirical wit and sartorial style, his dead pan presence on stage, his beautiful turn of a lyrical phrase, all these these things are the window dressing for what lay beneath. A beautiful man, loving and devoted father, kind and loyal friend. He was our brother, our musical bedrock. We will cherish always the memories of not only the music we made together but the laughs, the conversations, the crosswords, his constant biting humour, his passion for football and especially Liverpool. His intellect and knowledge was both broad and deep but he was never condescending though he was unashamedly irreverent to those in power, mostly dismissing their pretensions with a venomous boll**ks or bas**rds. For two decades we spent every December together and the laughter and love we all shared started from the moment we met for rehearsals until we parted after our Aggie Christmas dinner, a tradition where we exchanged gifts (always funny and personal from David). The whole tour long the rest of us would do our Christmas shopping each day in each town, traipsing around in the rain and snow, filling the tour bus with bags and boxes while David would find himself a nice warm pub and sit with his coffee and paper then do ALL his shopping on the last day, wrapping his gifts an hour before dinner! One year he made an exception and bought us all a journal which he hand wrote with his beautiful penmanship, each one individual but sharing thoughts from the road. Of all the gifts, both funny and meaningful, these journals are the ones we will always treasure the most.
David’s music is his legacy to the world, a deep well of songs that span over half a century. Pick any one of his albums, turn up the volume and lose yourself in his genius. For us in St Agnes Fountain and that includes Jil (who he loved dearly) and all the sound men and crew who have worked with us over the years, we will carry his love and laughter in our hearts. There’ll never really be an empty chair on the stage in front of the Aggie screens because he will always be with us, his influence resonates through everything we do.
One thing we can say without any doubt is that David wouldn’t have wanted to rest in peace, he would want to be putting on his fedora, tapping his foot out to some insane syncopated rhythm and leading us all in a celebration of a life of love, laughter and mirth. Thank you for the beautiful ride brother.