Not many performers around today can produce such a stunning resume as one of South Wales’s favourite rockers , Andy Fairweather Low.
Feted by the good and the great of the industry he’s the first name on the list when the ‘big guns’ come out to play. A side-man supreme as the likes of Eric Clapton and Roger Waters would gratefully testify, one week he may be playing to a packed out Madison Square Gardens, the next week the Paget Rooms, Penarth, such is the crazy world his considerable talents have led him into.
Not that he’s no slouch himself, with hits in the sixties with his band Amen Corner, plus as a solo performer in the seventies, he’s never rested on his laurels, constantly performing and currently enjoying in bit of a personal resurgence with his band the Low Riders receiving plaudits wherever they play.
Billed as a Big Band Xmas Special, the Low Rider’s line-up was augmented by a swinging brass section that at times took proceedings to a whole new level. This included the soul classic Ride Your Pony, which Low recalled seeing Otis Redding playing as an homage to the great man in Bristol, and Percy Sledges’s When A Man Loves A Woman. This was a joy to witness.
Not that it was an evening of covers as Low delved into his back catalogue of solo and previous band work to perform such memorable tunes as the mournful Wide Eyed And Legless and the monster-hit Bend Me Shape Me, with the packed-out crowd singing in unison.
It was quickly becoming quite an emotional night and in front of family, friends and fans, this home-coming was obviously a particularly sweet one for Low.
There was certainly no let up in pace and the set list for the evening provided something for every one with a blistering trio of Tequila, Peter Gunn and Apache leaving little time for a breath with the evening’s festivities brought to a very happy conclusion with Blue Christmas, When Your Smiling and a joyous (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice. There may have been a little tear in the eye of one of music’s nice guys.
Photography: Tony Chapman