Dr Hook leader singer Dennis Locorriere has chosen a very special guest to open for him on his spring solo tour: Andy Fairweather Low.
Once the voice of Amen Corner and later the long-serving musical director for Roger Waters until 2007, the Cardiff-born Andy is happy to take second billing. “I do like that arrangement. It means I’ll finish early!” he says, ahead of Sunday’s show with his band The Low Riders at the Grand Opera House, York.
“Dennis has been doing these solo shows for a long time; I only started in 2006 with Sweet Soulful Music album after most probably at least 26 years, 28 years, of not being a front man.
“Twenty four of those years were with Roger Waters. In fact they’ve asked me if I can go out with him at the end of the year but I don’t think I can do it because of this arrangement with Dennis. How long will it be running? Let’s try a year and a half.”
In Waters’ band, Andy would play bass and acoustic guitar with very little singing or lead guitar work required of him. “So I’m enjoying playing guitar at my shows, whereas with Roger there were two other guitarists, and I’d only play lead on Leaving Beirut,” he says.
“Roger is a real good friend but on the Dark Side Of The Moon tour, I’d sit out the back for four numbers, in the damp and dark out in Mexico, thinking ‘What am I doing here when I could be at home seeing my grandson?’.”
Andy has enjoyed stepping into the limelight after ending his 12 years in Eric Clapton’s band in 2004 and his even longer association with Waters in 2007, “Playing to a couple of hundred people in Pocklington [in November 2008] at the beautiful arts centre, you could hear a pin drop and I was in charge of the dynamic; playing to 400,000 with Roger, they don’t know who I am, but that’s fine; it’s the main turn’s gig – I didn’t bring down the wall!” he says.
“Now I am exactly where I am, I’m nowhere else, and the fact that I have played Wembley has no bearing on the gigs I’m playing…and I’m grateful. Some musicians aren’t grateful; they just start believing the hype, but I practise all the time.
“I’ve been playing guitar for 46 years and I think I’m as good as I should be, but I’m not great, as I know what great is, and so I keep practising.”
Andy’s long-running involvement in Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings also keeps him up to the mark. “There’s a big support level between all the musicians and less pressure than solo shows,” he says. “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it, because you can’t get better than performing with the Rhythm Kings!”
Dennis Locorriere and Andy Fairweather Low and The Low Riders play Grand Opera House, York, on Sunday at 7.30pm. Box office: 0844 847 2322 or www.grandoperahouseyork.org.uk