The singer of a little-known Scottish covers band has said he was "flabbergasted times 1000" after being hailed for his vocal talents by rock legend Rod Stewart.

Stewart, one the world's biggest-selling artists, said he was blown away by William Hitchell's vocals after hearing him sing the Sam Cooke classic A Change Is Gonna Come.

The 77-year-old Maggie May star said he had "the best white-soul voice I've heard since Frankie Miller" after being sent a YouTube clip of his r'n'b band The Vintage Explosion performing.

"It is unbelievable, really," said the 42-year-old, who is still giddy with delight at the commendation from one of his musical heroes.

"If you were to pick anyone who thought you were a good singer, I would have had Rod Stewart at the top of the list.

"For someone of that stature to even take the time to bother.

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"I love Frankie Millar as well so being talked about in the sentence as these guys is just fantastic," he said.

"As soon as this happened, two gigs in Glasgow sold out without two hours and we are having to book bigger venues."

The Herald:

The 42-year-old who is married with three children and lives near Loch Lomond, says he has always loved fifties music and singers including Cooke, Elvis and Little Richard.

"It's the kind of music I was listening to in school, which was very very unfashionable when everyone was listening to Oasis and the Beatles and things like that.

"It came from my dad, who is not that old himself," said the Ayrshire-born singer, laughing.

It's not the first time his bands have benefitted from the Midas touch of celebrity endorsement.

He also front a covers band, Ernest, who played at comedian Kevin Bridges wedding in 2019 and actor Simon Pegg tweeted in tweeted to his 6m followers on Twitter after seeing them live: 'If anyone is looking for a band for their event in Scotland, ERNEST rock! I know because they rocked me!'

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While Rod Stewart's hits don't quite fit the genre of Vintage Explosion, he said he has "already made a fortune" singing Maggie May with Ernest at weddings and festivals.

A session musician since he left school, playing guitar, piano and singing, he put the r'n'b band together "for his own enjoyment" in 2018. 

"I've got some of the best musicians in Scotland playing with me," said the singer.

"We were playing small jazz clubs and clubs in Glasgow. We were only a wee while into it when the pandemic happened so the momentum was lost.

"We play the sort of music that Rod Stewart was influenced by so that's probably where it comes from.

"I never thought that playing music from the fifties was going to be the success story of my career," he laughs.

He says the band recently started booking old dance halls in Glasgow to create the most authentic experience. 

"My whole idea was to transport people back to the fifties so they could experience the whole thing," he said.

"We played at the Fairfield Club in Govan, which is a fantastic old dance hall and filled that to the rafters in August, which was great fun.

"It was all ages. We have older people who are nostalgic for the past, we have the young West End hipsters with the bears and the tattoos and we have another audience which is the people who do the fifties jiving, the Lindy Hop and so on, which is a spectacle in itself.

"A lot of people come just to watch the dancing."

Rod Stewart was among those honoured at this year's Specsavers Scottish Music Awards.

The  London-born rock star was presented with this year's Outstanding Achievement in Music Award.

Rod Stewart, has previously explained how he had become a diehard Scotland and Celtic fan as an Englishman.

The singer who had 10 number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK including hits such as Da Ya Think I'm Sexy, Maggie May and Sailing was born in Highgate, North London and grew up in the UK capital.

He qualifies for the award through his Scots father, Robert, who died in 1990.

Robert Stewart lived in Scotland with his English wife Elsie and their first four children were born there.

But the family moved to London, where their youngest son Rod, was subsequently welcomed to the world.

The Vintage Explosion are playing Glasgow's Doubletree Hilton on Hogmanay. Tickets at