Monday, April 21, 2008

Nick Lowe/Robyn Hitchcock @ the El Rey 4/11/08 (review)

As published by LA Record:

When I heard that Robyn Hitchcock was coming back to town as co-headliner with Nick Lowe at the El Rey, the first thing I did was cash in on my fabulous L.A. RECORD connections to score tickets. The second thing I did was miss his entire set. I arrived at 10 pm, which on a Friday night by L.A. standards is pretty damn prompt, to find that not only had Robyn come and gone, but I'd already even missed Nick Lowe's first couple of tunes. Not being all that familiar with Lowe's stuff – except of course for his standards "Cruel to Be Kind" and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" – I disappointedly resigned myself to sit through his set and try to enjoy myself. After listening to him play a couple of tunes of just him and acoustic guitar, I was sure that was not going to happen. But as the evening wore on, I found myself increasingly entranced by the 50-something Englishman's simple yet heartfelt melodies and story-like lyrics of life and love. Though sponsored by Indie 103, it felt like more of a KCRW crowd, the audience comprising faux-hipsters in their late twenties who allowed their parents to tag along, all singing to every song, completely enamored with Lowe. The highlight for me was the encore, when both Lowe and Hitchcock took the stage together and performed a number of surprising old covers, including the little-known 1963 tune "Hungry For Love" by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, "Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly and the Beatles' "If I Fell." (LL)

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