Guitarist to tour with Darius

A musician from Felixstowe is to line up alongside top-selling pop star Darius, when the Scottish singer tours the UK during May.Guitarist Spencer Horton was invited to audition for the job of guitarist in the backing band being put together by the failed Pop Idol finalist's musical director, Pete Glenister.

A musician from Felixstowe is to line up alongside top-selling pop star Darius, when the Scottish singer tours the UK during May.

Guitarist Spencer Horton was invited to audition for the job of guitarist in the backing band being put together by the failed Pop Idol finalist's musical director, Pete Glenister.

"Pete phoned me up and said 'we need a guitarist for Darius' band and you're the first person I thought of,'" said the 29-year-old.

Spencer is no stranger to the world of pop music having been a member of Chesney Hawkes' band for the last year, and having performed on television with Ronan Keating, when the former Boyzone singer was promoting his single Life is a Roller Coaster.

Speaking from Chesney Hawkes' tour bus en route to a gig in Leeds, Spencer talked about the audition process he had to go through.

"There were two auditions. The first was performing four songs from Darius' album, Dive In, on acoustic and electric guitar."

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Spencer already had the album, having known some of the musicians who had contributed to the recording.

"For the second audition, which Darius was at, we played Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz; Fear of Flying by Foo Fighters, and 20th Century Boy. We were leaping around like mad men, getting well into it; it was really good fun."

Spencer was confident of his performance and heard later that day that he had been chosen.

"I put a good positive attitude across. I had the playing side of it down note for note. It's whether you've got something else to make their decision a lot easier. I'd worked before with some of the guys so it was just a matter of locking horns musically and having fun with it, to help break the ice and then saying, 'let's do it'"

The former Kesgrave High school pupil started playing the guitar aged 15, and cut his musical teeth in the pubs around Suffolk, eventually forming his own band Spencer Horton's Armada.

Spencer left the region to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford where he obtained a Higher Diploma in Contemporary Music, passing with credit. It was while he was studying at ACM that he was chosen to stand in for Ronan Keating's guitarist on This Morning, SM TV, CD UK and GMTV.

Asked what Darius, who was a national talking point when he was booted off the Popstars television show after his unorthodox version of Britney Spears' Hit Me Baby One More Time, was really like, Spencer is naturally very tactful. "He's cool," he enthuses. "He seems really down to earth. He's really focused on what he wants to do, and wants to have fun with it. He doesn't want to be the same as the other old Popstars. He's someone who's got a little bit between his ears, and someone who's certainly got control of his own destiny. He does it the way he wants it done, rather than being told what to do."

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Darius' tour takes in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle Nottingham, Cardiff, Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Bradford, Sheffield, Leicester, Birmingham and The Hammersmith Apollo.

For tickets call the 24 hr Ticket Hotline on 0870 735 5000.

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