This could be my last time but I’m still look­ing bet­ter than Mick

Wise­crack­ing crooner hit­ting the road again at 78

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - EXCLUSIVE - By Rus­sell Black­stock rblack­stock@sun­day­

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 grand-fa­ther-of-eight, 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 Con nolly,

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.

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