24 February – A first trip to Harrogate Theatre for my first show of 2012 to see Nick Lowe. But first there is the support, Geraint Watkins. The Welsh keyboard wizard, once described as the Welsh Jerry Lee Lewis, has played with many fine musicians including Van Morrison and Peter Green. He has an excellent new CD out, In A Bad Mood, and tonight he plays mostly songs from it and a great version of Mystery Train.
After a short break Watkins is back on stage with the rest of Nick Lowe’s fine band – Bobby Irwin (drums), Matt Radford (bass) and Johnny Scott (guitar). Lowe has been making music for over 40 years but, unlike so many others, he shows no sign of his powers deteriorating. He plays songs from across his career, from 1974’s (What’s So Funny About) Peace Love And Understanding to tracks from his 2011 CD The Old Magic. In between the songs there is a lot of very funny self-deprecation. It would be invidious to pick highlights from such a great show but there were two surprises. First was a cover of Tower Of Strength, a 1961 No.1 hit for Frankie Vaughan. The second was the second encore, a solo rendition of Elvis Costello’s Alison, which Lowe produced.
Nick Lowe doesn’t tour very often but if he is playing within travelling distance of you I urge you to go see a master craftsman at work.
Some comedy this month too with Chris Addison at Leeds Town Hall and Reginald D. Hunter at St George’s Hall, Bradford. Both very funny and recommended.