This could be my last time but I’m still looking better than Mick – SYDNEY DEVINE
Wisecracking crooner hitting the road again at 78
RHINESTONE cowboy Sydney Devine is saddling up for his first nationwide tour in almost 20 years – at the age of 78.
And the showbiz veteran insists he won’t stop there – as part of his “bucket list”, he also wants to record an album of duets with some of Scotland’s biggest stars such as Billy Connolly, Annie Lennox and Simple Minds.
In recent times the country and western crooner has limited his live performances to three annual concerts over two days at Glasgow’s Pavilion Theatre following his battles with ill health down the years.
But wisecracking Sydney – whose career began more than 60 years ago – told The Sunday Post he can’t wait to hit the road in April for a lengthy string of gigs, including shows in Motherwell and Largs.
“I’ve been going for longer than The Rolling Stones and I think I’m looking better than Mick Jagger is these days,” he said. “Some people think I’m crazy planning another tour at my age but I’m in decent enough shape and I still love playing live.
“I never say never again but this could be my last farewell.”
Sydney is already getting himself fit for the tour.
“I’ve bought a pair of trainers and I’m now moving about the house a bit faster,” he said. “Sometimes I even break into a jog.”
The grandfather-ofeight, who lives in Ayr with his wife Shirley, has sold a staggering 15m records, releasing 49 albums.
He won’t rest until he has delivered a collection of big-name duets. “We have some outstanding talent like Billy Connolly, Wet Wet Wet and Lulu and I would love to duet with these people,” said the singer. Sydney – affectionately nicknamed Steak n’ Kidney – is already hard at work rehearsing for his traditional appearances at the Pavilion on November 10 and 11. It will be the 43rd year on the bounce he has performed there.
“There are certain songs I wouldn’t dare not sing like Maggie, Tiny Bubbles and The Answer To Everything,” he said. “If I missed those out I would get murdered.”
This year’s appearances will be extra-special as the first night coincides with his 56th wedding anniversary. “Shirley will be there and I will dedicate a song to her,” he said. “I’m thinking about doing Please Release Me.”
Fans travel from all over the world to see Sydney perform.
“Some of them have been coming for so long that I am now on first-name terms,” said Sydney. “The theatre has only been around for 113 years and I have played there at almost half of them. It’s frightening really.”
Guitar-slinging Sydney is busy rehearsing for his live dates. Left, Stones frontman Mick Jagger.
The Scot, left, and Jagger in the first flush of youth.