As British music legends go Nick Lowe, is up there with the best of them. He was back at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall to showcase his most recent album The Old Magic which was released in September 2011. Nick Lowe first found success with Brinsely Schwarz in the early seventies. He was a co-founder of the legendary indie record label Stiff Records.
Throughout his career Nick has written, recorded, and produced music not just for himself but for other artists like Elvis Costello and The Damned.
He took to the stage sporting a pair of black rimmed glasses reminiscent of Buddy Holly, backed by his band but opted to play the first two songs on his own armed with an acoustic guitar singing Spotlight Roses and Hear. The style of the music throughout the concert was a mix of lounge music, Americana and rockabilly. Nick has the ability to take strands from different music genres and incorporate them into his own polished material. This was reiterated when he addresses the audience by saying:
“Tonight’s songs have been hand picked like a Sainsburys Jaffa.”
One of the standout tracks of the main set is Lately I’ve let Things Slide which is a wry ballad containing the witty lyrics ‘I go to the bin and throw the laundry in and pick out the cleanest shirt.’
More than a dozen songs in Nick introduces his excellent band – Reg Radford – double bass, Johnny Scott – guitar, Bobby Irwin – Drums, and Geraint Watkins – piano and keyboards. A lot more of the standout tracks come from his back catalogue like Cruel To Be Kind and I Live On A Battlefield. But they didn’t diminish the finesse of his recent recordings.
The pace of the show’s songs range from jaunty Americana ditties to softer reflective ballads like I Read A Lot and I Trained Her To Love Me.
The first set ends after an effortless performance by Nick and his band delivering songs both old and new. The first encore sees Nick return to the stage with his acoustic guitar accompanied by just Geraint Watkins on piano to deliver one of Geraint’s time-honoured ballads Only A Rose.
The heartfelt vocal harmonising from both men was both rousing and stimulating.
The other members of the band re-join the duo for more vintage tracks from such a time-honoured career. Popping up is yet another classic What’s So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding? A song successfully covered by Elvis Costello. The guys admirably cover Cliff Johnson’s rockabilly barnstormer Go’Way Hound Dog. Nick and his band finish again, take their bows and acknowledge the audience for their great support.
Mr Lowe returns for one last time to do a solo spot on his acoustic guitar to sing the Elvis Costello classic Alison. A song Lowe produced for Elvis back in 1977. A fitting end to a top class concert delivered by our host and his first class band.