Review: Andy Fairweather Low – Birkenhead – 15 Nov 2008
Posted on: Thursday, Nov 20, 2008
ANDY FAIRWEATHER LOW & THE LOW RIDERS
Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead: 15.11.08
This was another splendid gig as part of the 20th International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, attracting a packed house to Pacific Road to see one of British rock music’s most enduring and in-demand musicians, the Cardiff-born Andy Fairweather Low, and his top calibre band, comprising Dave Bronze (bass and vocals), Richard Dunn (Hammond organ) and Paul Beavis (drums).
A marvellous two hour, two set show comprised songs from Fairweather Low’s pop star days in the 1960s’ up to his more recent work, with all bases covered – from blues to country, to gospel and rock – all highlighting his tremendous guitar playing and distinctive voice.
It’s easy to see how he has always been in demand – 11 years in Eric Clapton’s band, regularly touring with Roger Waters and Bill Wyman, and a prominent role in the George Harrison memorial concert – as he is a great guitar player in many styles, with seemingly a different guitar for each one as well!
First set treats were topped with a rip-roaring romp through Junior Parker’s Sun Records classic, “Mystery Train” – complete with afore-mentioned guitar work; the lovely “Hymn For My Soul”, recently recorded by Joe Cocker; and the big hit, “La Booga Rooga”. The set ending timeless gospel tune, “I Shall Not Be Moved”, saw another switch to a most unusual shaped guitar, but producing a great, dirty tone – top stuff indeed!
A couple of nice acoustic blues opened the second set, including “Rolling And Tumbling, before a dip back into gospel for “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?”, before a nice, laid back take on some Jimmy Reed blues, “Peeping And Hiding”. He then twanged it up on a Lightning Hopkins instrumental, “Lightning Boogie”, donning a rather large and oversized stetson for some reason?
A major chunk of the last half hour of the show centred on his golden days with Amen Corner – from “Natural Sinner” to a great version of the band’s first single, “Gin House Blues” – featuring some tremendous playing from fellow Welshman Richard Dunn, whose keyboard work was stunning all evening – he is another with a most impressive CV, including work with Van Morrison.
His biggest solo hit “Wide Eyed And Legless” brought a great show to an end, before returning for a brace of encores – the two big hits, “Bend Me, Shape Me” and “(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice” – still sounding great 40 years on, just like Mr. Fairweather Low himself!
A special mention must go to his great band – the experienced rhythm section of Dave Bronze – great vocals as well – and Paul Beavis were on the button all night – with, as mentioned, Richard Dunn’s Hammond playing superb!
Note from Ken – I could not find a picture of Andy Fairweather Low from this tour so I relied on a regular source for bluesinthenorthwest.com pictures. So many thanks to Paul Webster for the picture.