Nick Lowe - bass, vocals; Billy Bremner - guitar, vocals; Dave Edmunds - guitar, vocals; Terry Williams - drums
For a period of three years, British pop songwriter, bassist, and producer Nick Lowe had an interesting arrangement with his fellow Brit musician and longtime collaborator, Dave Edmunds. The two decided to produce tracks for and play on each other's solo albums, as well as be members in a band that would support each one when they toured as solo artists. Hence the birth of Rockpile, probably the best known and best loved of all UK pub bands.
Both this show and the early show from this night (also available here at Wolfgang's) were taped for the King Biscuit Flower Hour when Lowe was promoting his debut classic solo album, Pure Pop for Now People. The record was released in 1977 in the UK as Jesus of Cool, but Lowe's US label, Columbia, was scared that the title would keep the record out of the more conservative retail chain stores.
Pure Pop for Now People was a hit anyway, gathering rave reviews on both sides of the pond, not as much for its concise pop tracks and pub-influenced musicianship, but more so because Lowe had become producer of the hour. He is generally regarded as one of the earliest pioneers of punk (not because he made punk records himself, because he didn't) but because he took the grit and the passion from the UK pub scene and translated it effectively in the studio with a litany of angry British musicians, among them Elvis Costello, the Damned, Graham Parker & the Rumour, and the Pretenders.
This show opens with a trio of songs sung by Dave Edmunds, beginning with "Down, Down, Down," the leadoff track on Edmund's 1972 debut solo album Rockpile, which was the source of this band's name. He then fronts the group on a rockin' cover of Graham Parker's "Back To School Days" followed by Nick Lowe's retro-rock classic "I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock And Roll." Lowe then takes center stage and blasts his way into our ears and hearts with such brilliant songs as "So It Goes," and "(I Love the Sound Of) Breaking Glass" (a parody of David Bowie's drug-induced Berlin period). Then Edmunds again fronts the band for "Here Comes The Weekend," his infectious hit cover of "I Hear You Knockin," and then Rockpile close the set with a near frantic take of "Heart Of The City."
The Bottom Line audience demands more and Rockpile delivers an excellent four-song encore that begins with Billy Bremner leading the way through "Mess O Blues" and concludes with a trifecta of songs associated with Edmunds' career; "Here Comes The Weekend," "They Call It Rock," and "Falling In Love Again."