A busker, Rod Stewart and a musical one-night stand at the Albert Hall

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Standing on a pavement in Glasgow's bustling West End last night, busker Amy Bell was feeling a sense of anticlimax as she worked through her repertoire.

Standing on a pavement in Glasgow's bustling West End last night, busker Amy Bell was feeling a sense of anticlimax as she worked through her repertoire.

To the strains of Joni Mitchell and Sheryl Crow she collected around £25 in small change and reflected on the highs and lows of a "career" in music.

Barely 24 hours earlier she had taken centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall alongside Rod Stewart who invited her to perform after she was recommended on the strength of her busking.

Bell had caught the multimillionaire rocker's imagination both because of her Scots nationality and because he too was plucked from obscurity when he was discovered aged 19 by blues legend Long John Baldry singing outside Twickenham station.

Bell, 22, flew to London on Saturday, rehearsed at the Abbey Road studios on Monday with a 60-piece BBC concert orchestra before joining the Princes Trust charity concert line-up, including Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.

Speaking last night Bell said: "I have been busking since I was 14 and a friend of Rod's saw me and started raving about me to Rod. He heard a couple of demos, saw a couple of pictures and made up his mind."

She thought she was being invited for rehearsals but within a week she was on stage. "I would not describe myself as a Rod Stewart fan but I loved his stuff with The Faces. Having been in the studio with him I'm really impressed."

She was introduced by Stewart as "someone I found on the streets of Glasgow last week" when she joined him on stage midway through the second half for a rendition of 'I Don't Want to Talk About It'.

The one-off Albert Hall concert comes a week before Stewart travels to the US for the release of his latest album, Stardust... The Great American Songbook: Volume III. The first two volumes sold a combined 10 million copies.

For her night with the stars Bell will be paid the Musicians' Union rate of £100, slightly boosted as the show will be screened on BBC television.

"I hope now that I'll get a record deal," said Bell. "In the meantime I've got to go out busking because I'm totally skint."

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