Nick Lowe + C C Adcock 29.10.2021 at Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club, West Kensington, London
Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club is a new venue for me. A short stroll up the street from West Kensington tube station, out of the station, turn right and head for the Sainsbury’s Local.
Go a few hundred metres beyond the club entrance and in what appears to be something of a pub desert and you find The Cumberland Arms. Great food and decent ale selection – I was taken with the Timothy Taylor’s Landlord Bitter.
A good find by my gig buddy Dave. After a few pints (plus fish cakes and padron peppers) we return to join the queue for the doors opening at Nell’s. This is worth doing as it is unrestricted seats that need to be grabbed. We manage to rock up at one end of the front row in the polite scramble.
This is one of a series of Nick Lowe gigs here throughout the Autumn. This guy is such a legend, as much for his producing as his performing.
My lack of Lowe history
I was first interested with his Stiff Records years and production of Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model album in 1978. I bought the Cruel to Be Kind/ Little Hitler single back then and have a Stiff Records live compilation with Nick Lowe on but I just admired from a distance.
In June 2019 I finally went to see him with masked backing band, Los Straightjackets, at The Engine Rooms, Southampton. Shortly afterwards his biography was published which I read to further expand my appreciation of his musical influence and history.
….back to tonight’s gig
There is a raised area to the rear, where the bar is, and the prime seats seem to be several tables that can be reserved at the front of the raised area. I’m thinking the 350 stated capacity must be if the rear standing area is packed. All the seats are full anyway.
The support act tonight were a really good watch but depite numerous references to their home city of Lafayette, Louisiana by the main man I didn’t find out who it was until looking up the next day. It was CC Adcock with Jason Burns on double bass and … ah yes.. the young lad on the drum Roy Lowe. I thought he had a familar face – it’s Nick Lowe’s son!
A good start which grips the audience – no idle chat here, it’s a jazz and blues club. Their blues rock genre I see is described as ‘swamp rock’ or ‘cajun rock’ so I see the regular mention of ‘Lafayette Lousiana’ holds some importance.
And so to the master – the headmaster of UK rock ‘n’ roll – Nick Lowe. Just him, with his guitar. Lovely set …. Set List will tell you.
Lowe is so cool. Cool is an often over used word but he really is just Mr Rock ‘n’ Roll. Great to be here. I don’t know all of it but it doesn’t matter. My favourites are the big hitters like Cruel to be Kind and Peace Love and Understanding but there’s so much more…Bee Gees cover Heartbreaker, Tokyo Bay, Blue on Blue and Trombone.
Relaxed, rock ‘n’ roll. This is good.
A hugely enjoyable set and the highlight of the encore was When I Write the Book. I enjoyed it.. Mr Rock n Roll.
Afterwards we met Nick and got some merch signed… it’s that sort of casual place. What a lovely night.
..and when I mentioned the biography I was pointed in the direction of the author. Will Birch…that was a bonus.
So there was a good night. See you again soon Nick.