Rod Stewart tribute act to draw crowds at festival

Paul Metcalfe as Rod Stewart
Paul Metcalfe as Rod Stewart

In the five decades since Rod Stewart was discovered playing harmonica in a train station outside London, he has racked up 31 top 40 hits, released 29 solo albums, fronted two of the best bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s, dated a parade of leggy blond models, fathered eight kids (with five women), and earned millions.

With his raspy rock god voice and his spiky mullet hair-do, Stewart is undeniably an icon of modern rock music with a slew of well-worn hits behind him from Maggie May to Handbags and Gladrags, Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, The First Cut is the Deepest and Baby Jane. Stewart has explored motown, soul and R&B influences and been at the very epicentre of rock culture since his glory years in the 1960s and 70s.

Singer Paul Metcalfe, who is from Epsom, grew up listening to Rod, and fell in love with his music early. His tribute show, Some Guys Have All the Luck, will arrive at the Lagan Valley Island Arts Theatre in Lisburn on May 5, and City Hotel Derry on May 6 as part of the City of Derry Jazz Festival weekend. The intimate show explores Rod’s early musical evolution with background footage of the star in his younger years, and sees Metcalfe perform Rod’s biggest hits with the kind of swaggering confidence that Stewart has displayed on stage since his heyday.

“I first became aware of Rod as a teenager. I just remember hearing Maggie May and it just blew me away - I remember thinking, ‘what is that?’ His voice sounded so unusual. I bought the album. I was hooked.”

Over the years people would comment on Paul’s physical resemblance to Rod, and when he started singing his hits in the same raspy, rock-god voice, his mannerisms and mein carefully reminicent of the man himself, it became apparent that a quality tribute act was born.

“Rod has so many amazing tunes and great lyrics - I think he is sometimes often over-looked as the brilliant lyricist he really is. I love performing so many of the hits, Maggie May in particular is one people come to see. Baby Jane is an amazing song that always sends the crowd crazy. Mandolin Wind is another of my favourites - it takes me back to being a teenager and being introduced to rock music for the first time.

“I absolutely love playing Rod, you’ve got a hell of a night on your hands with so many hits to perform. After two songs everybody is dancing.”