Pop star, songwriter, producer and musician’s musician. Nick Lowe lays claim to all of these titles in his extraordinary career. He wrote and made famous “Cruel To Be Kind” and produced albums for Elvis Costello, Graham Parker, the Pretenders, The Damned and more. His own solo career launched him to the top of the charts and he has shared the stage with some of the best bands in the world.
In his current ‘second act’ as a silver-haired, tender-hearted but sharp-tongued singer-songwriter, Nick Lowe has no equal. Starting with 1995’s The Impossible Bird through to 2011’s The Old Magic, Nick has turned out a fantastic string of albums, each one devised in his West London home, and recorded with a core of musicians who possess the same veteran savvy. Lowe brings wit and understated excellence to every performance, leading Ben Ratliff of the New York Times to describe his live shows as “elegant and nearly devastating.”
As the leader of the seminal pub rockers Brinsley Schwarz, a producer, and a solo artist, Nick Lowe held considerable influence over the development of Punk Rock. With the Brinsleys, Lowe began a back-to-basics movement that flowered into Punk Rock in the late ’70s. As the house producer for Stiff, he recorded many seminal records by the likes of the Damned, Elvis Costello, and the Pretenders. His rough, ragged production style earned him the nickname “Basher” and also established the amateurish, D.I.Y. aesthetics of Punk. Despite his massive influence on Punk Rock, Lowe was never really a Punk Rocker. He was concerned with bringing back the tradition of three-minute Pop singles and hard-driving Rock & Roll, but he subverted his melodic songcraft with a nasty sense of humor. His early solo singles and albums, Jesus of Cool and Labour of Lust, overflowed with hooks, bizarre jokes, and an infectious energy that made them some of the most acclaimed pop records of the new wave era. As new wave began to fade away in the early ’80s, Lowe began to explore Roots Rock, eventually becoming a full-fledged Country-Rocker in the ’90s. While he never had another hit after 1980’s “Cruel to Be Kind,” his records found a devoted cult audience and were often critically praised.
Opening Artist: Kat Edmonson