WHAT’S SO FUNNY ABOUT… Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets Live in Atlanta

With Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse as backdrop, Britain’s Basher and his American pals served up the hits, the obscurities, and plenty more.
TEXT & PHOTOS BY JOHN BOYDSTON

Nick Lowe is back and rocking’ harder than he has in years with help from the world’s greatest backing – a band you probably already know and love – Los Straitjackets, and together they are quite a team.  They’ve joined forces off and on for a few years and are at least in-part touring behind a new 4-song EP “Tokyo Bay” they recorded together, for Yep Roc records.

This was opening night of the tour, and there’s aren’t that many US dates so check ‘em out here and grab your tix.

This was a capacity crowd, and the crowd was into it.  And it’s pretty cool when you get the sense the person having the best time in the whole place is the artist.  It was great seeing that Nick hasn’t changed much since I first saw him (with Paul Carrack) in 1982.  Then, as now, he loves his fans and he shows it onstage, smiling, making eye-contact, having fun.  Maybe this band has kick-started his rocker instincts.   His voice was superb, his wits sharp, and his humor always on display.

Expect a really nice mix of his hits from the early Rockpile days, his solo years, and the new stuff.  Nick and LS are both Yep Roc recording artists, and it should be noted Yep Roc has done an amazing job with Rockpile’s “Seconds of Pleasure” and early Nick LPs “Jesus of Cool,” and “Labour of Lust” re-issues, all three amazing records and worth re-visiting if you don’t listen to them once a week as I do.  They’ve always sounded great but have never sounded better than on these new releases.

Nick takes a short break after a bit and hands the stage over to Eddie Angel and Los Straitjackets, who rock a few songs of their own and also have a new EP out featuring the theme from “Game of Thrones.”  (Their version will be used on this upcoming final season, and it was specifically selected by the show for inclusion.) LS even had a moment for a costume change for the encore;  the Riddler jackets were nice.

It was a mini-Yep Roc  showcase of talent, with newly-signed Dawn Landes opening with a solo set, and doing a great job.  Her most recent release is “Meet Me at The River,” and her set makes me want to check it out.

Lots of photos here, because no one told me to stop.  Way too much for fun for a guy my age.

Check out John’s Instagram feed @johnboydstonphoto  or check out his bigger galleries at jobo.smugmug.com

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