A GREENOCK musician has all the luck after bagging a tour slot with rock icon Rod Stewart.

Gary McDowell is currently travelling around the UK with the 'Maggie May' singer, performing to tens of thousands of adoring fans at football stadiums and other venues.

It came about after the 28-year-old caught the eye of musician John McLaughlin, frontman with the band Johnny Mac and the Faithfuls - who are supporting Sir Rod on his latest tour - and was asked to join them playing guitar and providing backing vocals.

Gary took the plunge by giving up his job at Gourock cafe Flava last year to become a full-time musician and the gamble had paid off.

He is now performing to huge crowds every other day, including a full house at the 45,000-seater Páirc Uí Chaoimh Gaelic football ground in Cork, Ireland, a fortnight ago.

Gary told the Tele: "I've been feeling like a rock star the last few weeks.

"Hopefully it continues."

The Greenock musician has since played at Bristol City's Ashton Gate Stadium, St Mary's in Southampton and York Racecourse on Saturday.

He will perform at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes tonight followed by gigs at Ipswich Town's Portman Road, Molineux in Wolverhampton, Aberdeen's AECC, Bolton Wanderers' home, Brammall Lane in Sheffield and at a cricket ground in Brighton.

Gary says he has been made to feel right at home by Rod, who invited him and his bandmates into his dressing room to watch his beloved Celtic beat Hearts in the Scottish Cup final last month, even though he has an affection for his home town club Morton.

He said: "He's a total laugh.

"We were doing a soundcheck and Rod came out to the front of the stage and was dancing away.

"There was still about 10 minutes to go but he said, 'right, the game's starting', and rushed us off stage. "It's funny when someone of that scale becomes human. "We spent two hours in a dressing room watching a football game with Rod Stewart.

"I definitely didn't think that would happen when I got up that morning. "He's been great with me since the first time I met him when I asked for a selfie because my mum insisted I got one with him.

"It's been a total eye-opener."

Gary had been busy playing weddings, ceilidhs and various events with Glasgow band Bahookie and believed it was a wind-up when he was asked to go on tour supporting Sir Rod.

He said: "I actually thought 'no worries, as if that's going to happen'.

"I'd like to thank Bahookie for giving me full-time work this last year and for allowing me time to do this and a big thanks to John McLaughlin for giving me this opportunity."