TO meet your idols is one thing but Slydigs got to travel the world with theirs.

The Warrington rock band have recently returned from an American and European tour with The Who to coincide with their 50th anniversary.

Frontman Dean Fairhurst, from Burtonwood, spoke to Weekend about the ‘amazing’ experience as he adjusts after months on the road.

Slydigs’ last gig with the iconic band was in Milan in September before they did some of their own headline shows in Germany.

Dean said: “When we came back in October we were like: ‘Did that actually all happen?’ It was a surreal moment looking back to see we’d done so much.

“You have that post tour blues a bit when you come back and adjust to normal life. But it’s been amazing. We couldn’t have asked for any more.

“The beauty of it all was the fact that we did so well. I don’t think anybody thought we’d do as well as we did in terms of the response we got from the crowds. It’s everything we’ve ever wanted really.”

Those 25 gigs jetsetting around the world came about when someone from The Who’s management team discovered them on social media.

Dean, a former St Aelred’s High School pupil, added: “I think the video for our single, Stiff Upper Lip, was the first one they saw.

“They were intrigued enough to send A&R guys to watch us at gigs in Manchester, London and Jamie Oliver’s festival, The Big Feastival.

“It was one of the poshest festivals we’ve ever played at. We remember it because Bill Curbishley and Robert Rosenberg, who manage The Who, were there so we knew it was a very important gig for us.

‘To make an impact on someone as big as Pete Townshend is everything you could ever wish for as an artist’

“But as luck would have it we got caught in three traffic jams travelling down from Warrington and literally turned up just as we were about to go on stage. I don’t know how.

“Some divine intervention got us through. From there the ball started rolling very quickly.”

That was not the first time a Slydigs gig did not go swimmingly.

The Big Feastival was the second time Robert Rosenberg turned out to see them after going to their London gig put on at the Queen of Hoxton by promoter Mikey Johns.

Dean said: "Our stage time was moved back an hour and when we finally got on the electricity went off.

"Lucky for us Robert stayed around and we smashed the gig when the electricty came back on finally."

Despite that run of bad luck, Bill and Robert were impressed.

Slydigs met The Who at their management’s office in London a short time later.

“We kept our cool in the meeting but afterwards we were elated,” said Dean, 28.

“It’s surreal meeting your heroes but we didn’t really feel nervous. Our attitude and outlook was that we were there to do a job. It was just a great perk of the job.

“It gives you that lift because, as much as some people might deny it, you do need some sort of encouragement.

“To make an impact on someone as big as Pete Townshend is everything you could ever wish for as an artist.

“To be praised by someone who is an icon and someone you thought about when you were younger is a huge accolade.

“We’ve worked very hard to get where we are and it’s took us some time so it’s like a nod that our career is going in the right place.”

Their first gig with The Who was at Liverpool Arena in 2015.

“There’s no way of hiding on a stage like that,” added Dean.

“When you’re playing in raucous, tiny, sweaty venues you can get away with little guitar licks that go wrong but with an arena every part of your stagecraft has to be perfected.

“After playing the first gig we found out there was the option to go over to America with them. It felt like the time to step up to the plate.

“Roger Daltrey and Pete were very warm and welcoming. The response we got from the crowd was not something they could ignore. They were pretty happy for us.

“We learned quickly from audiences and we learned from The Who as we now know exactly how they do it. It was a musical education in a sense.”

Dean, whose brother Jimmy is artistic director of Not Too Tame Theatre Company, said the best gig was at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

He said: “It was amazing. It was a big night for everyone because Ringo Starr and lot of stars from the Hollywood scene like Keanu Reeves were there.

“Seattle was good as well. I was speaking to someone outside who said he liked my band and I didn’t realise until afterwards it was Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam.

“Getting over the border between Canada and the United States was the most surreal thing because we had American cops coming onto the bus at 3am.

“Everyone was in their dressing gowns half awake as they were working their way around the empty bottles.

“There was another surreal moment when we were rehearsing some backing vocals in the dressing room and we heard this voice from behind us saying: ‘That sounds really good’.

“We thought it just someone from the crew but I turned around and it was Pete Townshend.”

Slydigs are now working on new material with producer kettle which could become their debut album.

So is there a chance that Pete or Roger could make a guest appearance on one of the new songs?

Dean added: “We might try and ask them. It’s a longshot but you never know...”