Peter Asher and Albert Lee take centre stage at Portsmouth Guildhall

Peter Asher and Albert Lee
Peter Asher and Albert Lee
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Between them Peter Asher and Albert Lee have worked with some of the biggest names in popular music.

But the pair are far more than mere sidemen – Peter has notched up huge hits as half of Peter and Gordon before switching to producing, while Lee has worked with everyone from Emmylou Harris to Eric Clapton and The Everly Brothers, as well as leading his own band.

And now the two of them are bringing their show home to the UK after winning great acclaim with it Stateside.

WOW247 caught up with Lee as he was on the road in Germany with his own band. The veteran guitarist has got a busy itinerary for the next few months.

‘I’m about to do the tour with Peter in the UK, but I’ve also got tours booked throughout England and Europe in the spring.

‘There’s no retirement in this business, unless you’ve got a bunch of gold records,’ he laughs.

‘I’ve been a sideman for many years, but even after I did my first solo album in the mid-70s, I never truly fronted a band until about 25-30 years ago – Hogan’s Heroes.

‘That’s when I became a fully-operational frontman and it’s gone on from there.’

It was being invited to play with his old friend Gerry Hogan that proved to be a turning point in Lee’s career.

‘I thought why didn’t I do this 20 years ago? It was much easier than I thought it was going to be – you get more confident with age – well I did anyway.’

After Gram Parsons’ death, it was Lee that his musical partner Emmylou Harris turned to, and she has since said of him: ‘When Saint Peter asks me to chronicle my time down here on earth, I’ll be able to say (with pride if that’s allowed) that for a while I played rhythm guitar in a band with Albert Lee.’

‘I had a great time with Emmy,’ says Lee, ‘I still do the occasional thing with her, but she does a lot of solo stuff now. You never know with her, she does a lot of different things.’

And it was when Emmylou worked with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt on their 1987 album Trio that he first really bonded with Peter, who was Ronstadt’s manager at the time.

‘We found ourselves on a couple of shows together – I sang with him with his band at a couple of gigs then someone had the idea, you guys should do a duo thing. We both kind of tell stories and so on.

‘He was happy to do it, as was I, but we didn’t know how it was going to work until we got there, and to our surprise, it was very well received.’

Portsmouth Guildhall

Saturday, November 5

portsmouthguildhall.org.uk