Lately I've Let Things Slide Gigs Comments

Details

Author
Nick Lowe
Original Band
Nick Lowe
Performances
4

Gigs

Billed As Venue City State Country Date
Robyn Hitchcock & Emma Swift Robyn and Emma's house London England UK March 24, 2021
Robyn Hitchcock Robyn and Emma's house London England UK October 03, 2021
Robyn Hitchcock Robyn and Emma's house London England UK March 23, 2022
Robyn Hitchcock Unknown Hotel Chicago Illinois US April 17, 2022

Comments

From Robyn on Patreon in 2022
I first met Nick Lowe at the Nashville Rooms in London, Christmas 1977 when The Soft Boys opened for Elvis Costello & The Attractions. As an act of fealty, I lit my hand-rolled cigarette from his discarded Senior Service (un-tipped) that still smouldered on the grubby floor-boards.

Nick was amicable and diplomatic about our set, very much the English gentleman in training, but not too posh, as befitted the punky times. He, Costello and the Soft Boys were all briefly on the same record label (Radar Records), as pub-rock metamorphosed into “New Wave” and thence to “Alternative” and endless tours of the USA.

Something about Nick’s attitude struck a chord with me; he took himself seriously enough to craft and record his songs beautifully, but he couldn’t resist sending himself up - and the whole music business with it. He has a light touch and, it seems to me, a self-mockery akin to Bryan Ferry in his Roxy Music days.

Fast forward 20 years, many tours and addresses later, and I ran into Nick in my local cheese shop in West London. I reintroduced myself, we discussed mutual acquaintances, and gradually set about the slow, cautious process of English friendship.

He turned out to live only a mile or two from me. Every so often I would take the bus to Lowe towers and we would spend the evening playing each other our latest creations and having rickety acoustic jams. I’d stagger home in a taxi and wake up next morning with a dry mouth and a sense of wonder - had I really been grooving with the great Nick Lowe?

One of the songs he played me was this one, which I loved straight away and is a pyramid of his live shows. It’s so specific that it’s universal - so Nick Lowe, that it applies to many of us.

It was Nick’s birthday last week - the few years he has on me means he came of age in a world before the Beatles, inspired by skiffle and rock’n’roll. I sometimes feel like his psychedelic little brother. Strangers occasionally mistake us for each other, but you can always tell us apart by our shirts…