Last week I went to see Nick Lowe at Vicar Street in Dublin. This was definitely one of the best gigs I have seen in quite a while. Although he has lost a little in the top register – the sweet lead of his early solo singles is flattened a little – and he is more countrified (what can you expect from a guy who was married to Carlene Carter, Johnny Cash’s daughter) but he is still a superb writer and performer. The club atmosphere of Vicar Street also added to the experience – I was at a Bruce Springsteen gig in the RDS last year and ended up watching him on the big screens; another great gig but I felt divorced from the action by the sheer magnitude of the arena and the distance from my seat to the stage. I would almost have preferred to have been in the standing area in the pouring rain but even there he would have appeared an extra from The Hobbit.
After the gig I ran into a guy I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. A day later he sent me a link to a u-tube video he uploaded. I guess I’m a bit sheltered but I was amazed to see the video of a gig I actually attended.
Halfway through the gig Nick Lowe played I Knew the Bride, an old favourite of mine that I always assumed was a Dave Edmunds song, as I heard it by him first. Then, a couple of days later, I was in Huddersfield (Yorkshire, England) on business. And, as always when I visit Huddersfield, it was raining. So, I’m on my way to the railway station, heading for the airport and home, and I’m getting soaked. I pass a shop called Vinyl Tap and I’ve simply got to go in – to shelter, if nothing else. Downstairs they’ve got this immense room full of second-hand vinyl – and every LP, no matter what the condition, is two quid a pop. So I flick through the twelve bins of prog rock and find several copies of Welcome by Santana, setting the cleanest aside. They have a huge box of Simon and Garfunkel records – at the front is Sounds of Silence which joins the Santana. I’m running out of time but press on to the countless seventies boxes where I find the first Bad Company LP and…. serendipitously… Get It by Dave Edmunds, featuring I Knew the Bride written by Nick Lowe. Out of time, I brought my four treasures (only the Dave Edmunds would I have bought at normal s/h prices) to the till and the guy says ‘ call it a fiver.’ Serendipity indeed.