Vo Fletcher was born in Moseley, Birmingham (the centre of the known cosmos, as anyone born in Brum will tell you.) His first musical influences were the children’s songs played on Uncle Mac’s Children’s Favorites on a Saturday morning. This and Popeye The Sailor Man were the only bright spots in an other dull and dusty week, with the exception of The Goon Show. His big wake-up call came when he started to play the B-sides of his mother’s collection of ‘sloppy’ records. Lo and behold; the B-sides were often Rock & Roll; completely at odds with the A-side ‘fluff’ so popular on the radio at the time. “What is this magical noise?” Wondered Young Vo.
Fast forward (past The Shadows; who he’s always had a soft spot for) a few years to Beatles, Stones, Yardbirds, Animals mania - now we’re talking! Learning guitar became an obsession. “I used to wear it all the time! Even walking down the street to see my mates; I’d practice as I walked. My mate’s parents thought I was a little strange and they probably weren't wrong;) When the British Blues Boom hit, it was; as they say “all over.”
“The first ‘proper’ gig I went to was Cream at Birmingham University. I managed to blag my way backstage afterwards and Eric Clapton let me have a go on his ‘Fool’ SG.” Maybe not ‘touched by God’ but certainly ‘touched by God’s guitar’ Vo pursued his passion. As the Blues Boom thrived, he lived for music. When not gigging himself he’d haunt Mother’s in Erdington on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Henry’s Blues House on Wednesday and The Metro on Thursday, with Birmingham Town Hall and The Odeon thrown in here and there. That left Monday and Tuesday for rehearsing with whatever band he was playing in at the time. What a great place Birmingham was for budding musicians.
During interviews, all these great musicians would acknowledge their influences, so Vo paid attention to who was being paid attention to. Muddy, Wolf, John Lee, Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson - especially Robert Johnson. Birmingham was a long way from The Delta, but it felt like it was getting closer.
Forward a thousand years, or so it seems; the influences, love and passion still linger and inform his current musical activities and state of mind. “I’m so lucky!” He says. “I never lost the enthusiasm for playing. Not for one second.”
Naturally Vo has played with an abundance of fine musicians along the way, many of whom he still performs with. These include, The Applejacks, Brent Ford & The Nylons, The Albion Morris Band, Nigel Kennedy, Rik Mayall, Dave Swarbrick, David Lowe (Touch & Go,) Catherine Howe, Fairport Convention, He’s currently a member of The Ric Sanders Trio.
His association with Ric (who he's been playing with since the early 70's) and the Fairport Family led him to Tommy and Ray. The time was ripe for SilverBlues.