What can you say about a man like Andy Fairweather Low? Well, one thing is that he has achieved virtually everything anyone could possibly ask for in a musical career spanning 50 years. Teenage pop star with Amen Corner; successful singer songwriter; super sideman with the likes of Eric Clapton and Roger Waters; guitarist and singer revered by fans and fellow musicians. He, as much as anyone, could be excused for taking things easy and coasting, but not a bit of it. The skill, enthusiasm and sheer energy he pumps into his two hour plus show would put many half his age to shame.
With the Low Riders, Andy seems to have found his ideal band setting for his own material. Featuring fellow Clapton sideman, Dave Bronze on bass, Paul Beavis (Judie Tzuke, Andy Summers, Robert Fripp, Russ Ballard, Leo Sayer) on drums, and Nick Pentelow (Roy Wood, Gary Moore, Elton John) on sax and clarinet, this is one hell of a band.
You would obviously expect to hear the hits from such an illustrious career, and we got ‘Half As Nice’, ‘Bend Me Shape Me’ and ‘High In The Sky’ from his Amen Corner days, as well as ‘Wide Eyed And Legless’ and ‘La Booga Rooga’ from his 70s solo career. But we also got a whole bunch of songs from the two Low Riders albums, that showed he is still writing new material and choosing some great cover versions.
With his instantly recognisable (and after 50 years, still perfectly intact) high tenor voice to the fore, it’s easy to forget just what a great guitar player he is. There are few soloists who create their own voice on their chosen instrument, and Andy is one of them. We were treated to some of the dirtiest guitar playing you’ll ever hear, especially on the AFL favourite, ‘Gin House Blues’.
It was another triumphant performance from Andy and the band, which was greeted with tremendous cheers from an ecstatic crowd. The band clearly love playing here in Saltaire and we’ll no doubt see them again.
We would also like to mention a great opening set from Shropshire based singer songwriter acoustic guitar wizard, Chris Quinn.
Photos by Keith Belcher