Nick Lowe, Terry Reid
London,Palladium,October 14,2001
The rumours are true.
Nick Lowe's support act for this shortest
of possible national tours - just three dates -
is legendary nearly-man of British rock,
Terry Reid, who turned down the job of
Led Zep vocalist only to see his own burgeoning
career tie itself up in a series of contractual
knots. He takes the stage armed with nothing but
an old acoustic guitar. On his first gig here in
over 20 years he's met with various scattered
cries of "welcome back!" from a smattering of
long-time fans.
"This is how I started off," he mutters, going
straight into 1968's surreally beautiful
"Without Expression". Amazingly, the voice is
still there, a perplexingly beautiful sand-on-silk
journey from Nick Drake delicacy to Robert Plant
There's a captivating without-a safety-net quality
to his performance tonight that some in the audience
find a little scary. He breaks a string and you think
he's lost the crowd but then on "Waterloo Sunset",
as Reid's vocal shifts from sweet to raw, he's won
them back again. A revelation. If he comes back next
year with a proper band, don't miss it.
Nothing could follow that daring tightrope performance,
and Nick Lowe doesn't even try. Smart, tailored, with
an enviable head of well-groomed snow white hair, he
takes the stage with a lazy, assured lope and a smile
that suggests we're all in on some grand cosmic joke.
With a voice that travels first class across the
Atlantic from Suffolk to Memphis, seducing all who
hear it, Lowe could sing the road directions to Runcorn
and make them sound like a poem. Tonight, however, he
begins with a beautifully understated acoustic rendition
of The Chi Lites' "There Will Never Be Any Peace
(Until God Is Seated At The Conference Table)".
We know why he's playing it so there's no need for an
Haunted, wistful renditions of Dig My Mood's "The Man
I've Become" and "What's Shaking On The Hill" establish
the evening's warm, autumnal tone. With the neo-country
heartbreak of "Lately I've Let Things Slide" and
"Indian Queens", both from gloriously assured new
album, The Convincer, some judiciously selected "hits"
("Cruel To Be Kind", "Half A Boy") and a beautiful solo
rendition of all-time classic "The Beast In Me", it's
a set that confirms Lowe - as opposed to tricksy
Mr Costello - as one of our most treasured British
Heartfelt, poignant, honest, it's just enough to keep
you warm on the journey home.
Written by Andrew Male * first published in
MOJO magazine November 2001
Terry Reid Set List: 
Without Expression *
Hong Kong * Don't Worry Baby *
Seed Of Memory * Crazy, Young, In Love *
Waterloo * Sunset * One Night Of Sin *
July *
Nick Lowe Set List:
The Conference Table *
Lately I've Let Things Slide *
What's Shaking On The Hill *
Half A Boy And Half A Man *
Has She Got A Friend * Faithless Lover *
The Man I've Become * I'm A Mess *
She's Got Soul *
True Love Travels On A Gravel Road *
I Live On A Battlefield * You Inspire Me *
Cruel To Be Kind * Bygones Won't Go *
Indian Queens *
Let's Stay In * You're My Wildest Dream *
Shting Shtang * The Beast In Me *
What's So Funny About Peace Love
And Understanding *
Heroes And Villains *
I Knew The Bride When She Used
To Rock'n'Roll

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