I’ve just heard of the death of my old university friend, Trevor Sandford, who in those days was part of the best Christian acoustic group around, Water into Wine Band. He first introduced himself by finding his way into my room when I was out, and leaving a cryptic note signed “Rover T”, but before long I met him and found he wanted me to play support to WIWB, or as it was then called the even more unwieldy Bill Thorp’s Water into Wine Band, on a tour of the Cambridge college common rooms and bars.
And so I ended up being Jon Garvey’s Water into Newcastle Brown Ale Band not only for that outing, but on many other occasions whilst our undergraduate days lasted. After that, I went on to medical school and playing round the country as part of an acoustic duo, and “the Band” went professional – which really meant slow starvation – playing amongst other things at the first Greenbelt Festival. We even met up for a joint gig at Oxford University in 1975 before both outfits went their adult ways and our contacts became few and far between.
Trevor was a gentle and quietly spoken guy with a soft Cookstown brogue, a steady faith and a self-deprecating on-stage manner that included telling Irish jokes (“Did you hear about the Irish parachutist who missed the world?”). In a band of contrasting personalities and gifts he was, perhaps, the steady foundation.
He went on to do important things in the field of education and, of course, in family life. But I remember him as a great songwriter, an excellent musician and, most of all, a good friend. Here’s one of his songs.