Friday, 29 May 2009

Nick Lowe and Ron Sexsmith at The Sage

NICK Lowe is the very essence of songwriting cool.

His shock of hair as dazzlingly white as his shirt, the lean Lowe nowadays resembles a well-preserved and sophisticated Premier League football manager.Backed by a superb four-piece band, the man who once christened himself the Jesus of Cool, dipped into his extensive back catalogue for a masterclass in songwriting craft.

The early pub rock hits –including Cruel To Be Kind and I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock and Roll – were rebooted, to the delight of the audience.But it's the songs Lowe's fashioned over the last decade and a half which represent his finest work.Indian Queens, You Inspire Me, I Trained Her To Love Me and the superb Hope For Us All were just some of the highlights, topped off by a spine-chilling solo encore of The Beast In Me, the song he wrote for his late father-in-law, Johnny Cash.
Support for the night was provided by the brilliant Ron Sexsmith, who is Lowe's equal in terms of songwriting skills, but who was content to open for his musical friend, before duetting with him on an old Louvin Brothers number during the encores.So: a great double bill and a wonderful concert of crafted songwriting, the only disappointment being the half-full house. Some of you missed a great night.

Terry Kelly
Also published in The Shields Gazette
26 May 2009

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