Review: Andy Fairweather Low – Birkenhead – 15 Nov 2008

Posted on: Thursday, Nov 20, 2008

Andy Fairweather Low

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!

GRAHAME RHODES

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.



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Grahame

November 20th, 2008 at 09:48
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Another fine Paul Webster pic indeed – probably from Colne I would imagine. Top night, and what a great guitar player he is!

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Jimbo

November 20th, 2008 at 23:04
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Now us blues fans don’t like admitting that we had a POP history lol, but Amen Corner was one of the first bands I got into, I took my then 16yr old girlfriend to see them at the Clockwork Orange in Chester back in 1969, she was absolutely nuts about AFL,I saw him in Colne last August and he was superb, as were the rest of the band, I attended the gig the other night in Birkenhead and treated my sister and brother-in-law to their tickets as a 40th wedding anniversary present, they said it was the best present ever, and at the end of the show all four of us were singing along to BMSM, and HAN word for word, top show, top man,……LEGEND !!!!