Andy Howells chats to Welsh singer-songwriter and former Amen Corner front-man, Andy Fairweather Low ahead of a show at Cardiff’s New Theatre
Andy Fairweather Low may have played alongside such greats as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Buddy Guy in his fifty year career but as the Ystrad Mynach born singer-songwriter prepares to play a homecoming date in Cardiff later today he reveals there’s no place like home.
“It’s where I live,” Andy tells Andy Howells, “I went to London in 1966 and came back in 1971 and I've been there ever since.”
One of the most respected guitarists in the business, Andy had group hits as the front man of Amen Corner and solo hits. Among his back catalogue are If Paradise Is Half as Nice, Wide Eyed and Legless, Bend Me Shape Me, Hello Susie, Reggae Tune, Natural Sinner and Gin House Blues
.I ask Andy if he recalls any other special homecoming gigs over his 50 year career.
“Last year in the New Theatre was a bit of a risk because its the biggest crowd that I've ever played to under my own name,” he says, ““ It was the most fabulous night!”
“ Outside of that, I would say when I played Cardiff in a place called the Kennard Rooms. That was one of my first gigs ever and a band called Joey and The Gentlemen were on. I was in a small band opening up and there was practically no-one in when we did our set. That didn’t matter it was still a momentous moment for me.”
Andy shot to fame as the front man of Amen Corner, the band scored several top ten hits in the late 1960s,
“The funny thing was when I left school, the first thing I recorded became a hit,” he says, “Until the moment I found things could be different I thought that’s just what you did. I thought I'd achieved the Midas touch! We soon found out later how lucky we were and that we'd been around at that time”
“I remember coming back to Cardiff with Amen Corner playing The Top Rank and The Drifters were on as well, it was a fantastic night,” recalls Andy, “I remember getting in my car and going to the top of Caerphilly Mountain. My wife was with me, although she wasn’t my wife then but I just had to get up there and try and calm down from doing a home gig of that kind of magnitude.”
Attendees of Andy’s concerts find that he still performs Amen Corner hits as well as his solo material,.
“Its not like I disown my own luggage or anything,” says Andy, “We play a large chunk of The Amen Corner back catalogue in the set and I'm very glad to have it.”
Andy will be performing alongside his band The Low Riders, “They are a Fantastic band, I started playing in 1964 and went to London in 1966. In that time I’ve loved soul music, jazz, the blues, rock n roll, rockabilly and that’s what you’re going to hear. We're making a DVD of the concert and maybe sticking in a bit of history of me in the music business, I'm looking forward to it.”
Andy Fairweather Low plays Cardiff’s New Theatre tonight (October 30),
A version of Andy Howells' interview with Andy Fairweather Low was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on October 24, 2014