A witch can be so wrong on occasion, you know. I’m about to eat my words, and possibly have a helping of humble pie somewhere, too.
I did not expect a backing band at the Dennis Locorriere concert on Monday night. When I saw on arrival at the Lowry that there would be, I was disappointed, and spent the best part of twenty minutes in my seat before the performance stating all the reasons it was a bad idea. And to be fair, I have always found it to be a mistake on other occasions.
Had never heard of Andy Fairweather Low before, which no doubt reflects badly on me. When I googled him I found he was in the Albion Band once, so our paths have probably crossed in the past after all, but I don’t remember him.
So there I was, hoping he would have half an hour at the most, so that we could get on with Dennis. After the first instrumental Andy said he’d be on stage for forty minutes and my heart sank. The first piece was good, but I still felt forty minutes was too long.
Then came the next number and he sang. It was the strangest voice I’d heard for a long time, but what a voice! I fell in love almost instantly, and settled in to enjoy those short forty minutes. There wasn’t a single song I didn’t like, and the selection was varied and absolutely perfect. If a little on the short side. (There’s nothing like the first throes of love, is there?)
I wasn’t taking notes then either, but among the songs Andy did were Bend Me Shape Me, If Paradise Is Half As Nice, and When You’re Smiling. All perfect. Sort of. Just before he forgot the lyrics at one point, Andy had been telling us about the fan who had accused him of miming. ‘I’m not bloody miming now’ he pointed out, while improvising.
As a complete Andy novice I was grateful for the quick resumé of his professional past, although if I tot up all the years playing with all those stars, Andy would have to be at least a hundred. He looks good for a man of a hundred.
The band was excellent, too. I don’t usually mind too much, one way or the other, but I could tell how talented they are. The whole thing was one of those blissful moments of perfection, which never happen when you expect it. They sneak up on you, and that makes it so much better.
As the interval began, I used my advantage of being in the right spot and rushed out to be third in the signing queue. I realised at the signing that the other people there actually knew and adored Andy, which is why I hardly dared open my mouth. And having left Daughter in her seat, I had to do the photographing myself. I thought the other picture I took was better, but she says this one. Being young, she knows best.
I can’t do this, but I’d like to go up to Buxton next Tuesday to see Andy again. And I see he’s playing at the Bridgewater Hall in July…