It pays to be proactive in your Internet wanderings. Just this morning, I thought that maybe it was time to take a glimpse at the concert calendar for The Grey Eagle; the local club that seems to get the bulk of my patronage. What should I see in October but an appearance by the iconic Nick Lowe! His appearance there will be part of a quick tour with the endearing title of “Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock And Roll Revue.” Thusly named because he is taking to the road for a series of tour dates linked up with the instro-tastic guitar combo of the gods, Los Straitjackets playing with him.
Apparently, Nick became attuned to the splendor of Los Straitjackets when coming to Chapel Hill five years ago for YR15, 15th Anniversary festival that YepRoc Records staged to bring its many fine artists together in one spot, and was happy to tour with them last year for his “Quality Holiday Revue” Christmas tour. Of course, this year’s event is another fine package tour courtesy of the YepRoc label in nearby Chapel Hill. Lowe and Los Straitjackets have been happily signed with the label for years now, so it must be a good fit for all concerned. Of course, I had recently seen the album above in record emporiums, and surely, the best brains at YepRoc understand all about synergy? Amigos, it doesn’t often get better than this.
Well then, yes sir! Sign me up! I have mightily enjoyed all of the Los Straitjackets shows I’ve been lucky enough to catch over the years. I remember the heady days of the Great 90s Surf Rock Boom (before the Great Surf Rock Crash of ’97) in which the veterans of The Raybeats, who were among the scant few hip enough to cover Link Wray in the early 80s, linked up with Webb Wilder’s amazing drummer James Lester [since replaced with Jason Smay] for this supergroup of sorts. Naturally, I was there in ’94 with bells on! Their instro mastery is undisputed, and their Lucha Libre presentation [all of their stage patter is en Español] coupled with their fantastic stage choreography, takes their entertainment value way over the top. It’s impossible to se these guys without a huge smile on your face. In fact, the last time I saw them was on another YepRoc package extravaganza that saw The Fleshtones, Los Straitjackets, and Southern Culture On The Skids touring behind their astonishing, conceptual Halloween split LP, “Mondo Zombie Boogaloo,” back in 2013.
As for Mr. Lowe, I’m positively thrilled that I did not have to wait another 30+ years to catch this superlative artist again in concert. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed his last show at The Grey Eagle and goodness knows that I had spent the better part of 20 years until then pining for another Nick Lowe concert after listening to my shamefully scant Nick Lowe collection and reflecting on the superlative caliber of his work. As Nick has entered his golden years, I have seen his recent work reflect his maturity in a most
For the most part, Lowe is tag teamed with Los Straitjackets for about half of his current tour dates, but Greenvale, New York sees Lowe opening up for Blondie and dates in Sellersville, Pennysyvania and St. Louis, Missourihas Lowe all by himself. If you are lucky enough to live within earshot of these dates, then by all means avail yourselves to the splendor of it all.
Nick Lowe | World Tour/Nick Lowe’s Quality Rock + Roll Revue | 2017
Jul 28 | Southern Fried Festival | Perth, United Kingdom
Jul 29 | Port Eliot Festival | St. Germans, United Kingdom
Aug 05 | Damsrosch Park [w/ Los Straitjackets] | New York, NY
Aug 10 | Kelvingrove Bandstand [w/ Paul Carrack] | Glasgow, United Kingdom
Oct 13 | Tiles Center [w/ Blondie] | Greenvale, NY
Oct 16 | Sellersville Theater 1894 | Sellersville, PA
Oct 18 | Birchmere [w/ Los Straitjackets] | Alexandria, VA
Oct 21 | The Grey Eagle [w/ Los Straitjackets] | Asheville, NC
Oct 24 | Delmar Hall | St. Louis, MO
Oct 27 | Turf Club [w/ Los Straitjackets] | St Paul, MN
Oct 28 | Turf Club [w/ Los Straitjackets] | St Paul, MN
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Love his more recent work, especially The Convincer,
Tim – I only have “The Old Magic” of his “mature” output. What is troubling, is that I have none of his early material!
I am slowly exploring the old material and for me it’s hit and miss, I was exposed to ”the hits” on MTV back in the day when they you know, played music. I really have no idea how or why I bought “The Convincer”, best guess would be a really strong review in Uncut backed up with the same in Mojo as I was reading those two quite regularly when the album came out and spending way too much money on cd’s.
I’ve explored a lot of the more recent stuff and generally in my opinion if it is 1990 going forward it is a safe bet. I did listen to one from the early end of that date range about a month ago and there was a bit too many ”losing my religion” themed tracks. i’m not thematically put off by that (said the atheist) I just don’t want to listen to a good chunk of a pop album about that.
His Christmas disc is so-so but “Christmas at the Airport” is a must download from that one.
Tim – As another atheist, I also get tired of lyricists beating a dead religious horse. Me doth think they protesth too much! There’s nothing more tedious to me than hearing Gary Numan moan about religion in yet another dour album of “edgy” industrial metal. Gird your loins. He’s got yet another one in the oven on Pledge Music for the last year or so!
Tim – I’ve never heard Nick Lowe that didn’t work for me. That said, I didn’t hear much of it. About a dozen songs from ’78-’88. The earliest album I have is the fabbo “Party Of One” post-breakup album. I’d buy more but it’s difficult to score used copies, says the cheapskate.
I also enjoy Basher. I have his stuff back to the Kipperton Lodge days. I liked his recent Chrimble album & for my birthday I received a great live Rockpile CD/DVD combo from Germany.
diskojoe – In 2015, when our heroes last did a Christmas tour, there was also this live album that resulted:
What I’m uncertain of is if Nick y Los Straitjackets will be taking to the stage separately, together… or both?
Los Straitjackets do a fantastic take on the Linus and Lucy theme from the old Peanuts Christmas special, I think that track is on said disc above.
Tim – The only xmas album I own is by Los Straitjackets. “‘Tis The Season For…” lacks the Peanuts song, but I saw Los Straitjackets Holiday Extravaganza back in 2002-3(?) with the Fabulous Pontini Sisters. Lotsa fun.