Andy Fairweather Low and the Hi Riders

Andy Fairweather Low. Photo: Judy Totton

Andy Fairweather Low and The Hi Riders: The Tivoli Wimborne (Saturday 7th October, 2017)

Not many original sixties pop stars are still on the road and playing better than ever. Andy Fairweather Low is an agreeable exception. The one-time Amen Corner frontman admits that he sometimes finds himself playing venues that almost exclusively stage  tribute bands cranking out the music of his old contemporaries. “I’m the real thing,” the 69-year-old tells the audience at the Tivoli. “Take my photo to prove it”

They don’t really need telling. Andy and his band The Low Riders are regular favourites at the venue. Except for this tour (and possibly forever more ) they’ve added a horn section and Hammond organ and become The Hi Riders.

It’s a revelation. Not only is Andy a seriously great guitarist and often employed by the likes of Eric Clapton, Roger Waters and Bill Wyman but his band is exceptional. It features regular drummer, local Wimborne boy Paul Beavis; Greg Harewood on bass, standing in for an absent Dave Bronze; Nick Pentelow and Peter Cook on saxophones and Matt Winch on trumpet.

Their playing was sublime and the audience lapped up their two set gig which paid tribute to rock, jazz, blues, country, soul and gospel before ending with Andy’s earliest hits Gin House Blues and If Paradise is Half As Nice. Along the way they not only gave us more of Andy’s back catalogue but some Hard Hat Boogie, a dose of classic rock ’n’ roll with Route 66; visited more mellow territory with Hymn From My Soul and dished up some stirring  gospel with I Shall Not Be Moved. There was much more but my favourite part of the show was a driving soul revue inspired by Otis Redding’s 1965 UK tour followed by a beautiful reading of the Percy Sledge classic When A Man Loves a Woman. 

Jeremy Miles

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