NILS LOFGREN GIG REVIEW

GIG REVIEW – NILS LOFGREN

Last month saw the UK reappearance of Nils Lofgren as a “solo” act and our LGA reviewer Paul Wood was on hand to catch his show at the Birmingham Town Hall.

GIG REVIEW – NILS LOFGREN

GIG REVIEW – NILS LOFGREN

Billed as Nils Lofgren with very special guest Greg Varlotta, the multi talented duo provided the Town Hall attendees with a 2 hour trip through the Lofgren back catalogue. Nils playing harp, electric and acoustic guitars and keyboards, Greg providing back up guitar, keyboards, trumpet and tap dancing!

The show starts with Nils wearing a top hat and sat at the harp to play the classy introduction to “Too Many Miles”, switching part way through to bring the song to a conclusion with his electric guitar.

Here’s the official video for “Too Many Miles”

Moving on to an acoustic guitar for the majority of the set, Nils spends time between songs telling stories of his earlier trips to the UK and recording with Neil Young.

Here’s a clip of Nils talking about, and playing, Neil Young’s “Long May You Run”

Mid set sees Nils move on to keyboards for a run of songs including “Goin’ Back” (Carole King/The Byrds/Dusty Springfield), “Irish Angel” (Bruce McCabe) and a piano pumping version of “The Sun Hasn’t Set On This Boy Yet”

LGA attendees could do well to catch Nils live – he provides blistering acoustic solos throughout the night, most notably on “Girl In Motion” and permanent live favourite “Keith Don’t Go”– using a loop pedal effect to provide his own guitar backing while he freewheels over the fret board on the solos.

Here’s a link to an acoustic version of “Keith Don’t Go” uploaded by Nils:

“Mud In Your Eye” allows Greg Varlotta to bring the house down with a mid song tap dancing performance (think “Duelling Banjos” but with Nils on guitar and Greg tap dancing!) and even Nils gets in the act with a little bit of tap dancing of his own on first encore “I Came To Dance”.

Here’s a live clip from the US of “Mud In Your Eye” with Greg and his dancing shoes!

The electric guitar comes back out for encore closer (and Lofgren’s signature song) “Shine Silently” . He can no longer do the trampoline back flips (hip replacement surgery has seen to that) but Nils can (and does) still close the show with his trademark one legged wheelies while playing the guitar

Highly recommended for all LGA students – go catch Nils Lofgen live on his next UK tour. His website www.nilslofgren.com suggests that he could be back over in the UK in November.

Out now is a 10 disc 45 year career retrospective – “Face The Music”

Setlist

Encore:

RODDY FRAME – BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL

RODDY FRAME – BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL GIG GUIDE 

The last night of the triumphant Roddy Frame Autumn Tour took place at the Town Hall in Birmingham and LGA gig reviewer, Paul Wood, was there to see the “pop wonderkid of the 80s” deliver a fantastic set that embraced his albums with Aztec Camera and his more recent solo years.

RODDY FRAME – BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL

RODDY FRAME – BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL

It’s easy to forget how impressive the Aztec Camera/Roddy Frame back catalogue of songs is. You’ve got the brashness of youth and sheer pop exuberance on the debut album “High Land Hard Rain”, the sophisticated soul/pop of the “Love” album, minor classics from diverse albums such as “Stray” and “Frestonia” and the more mature work of his solo years.

His latest solo release “Seven Dials” has received excellent reviews and we get treated in the show to versions from the new album of “40 Days of Rain”, “White Pony”, Postcard” and “In Orbit”.

On stage with a full band – 2nd guitarist, drums, bass, keyboards and 2 backing girl singers who double up on violin, Roddy Frame cuts an impressively confident but very likeable character – happy to chat with his audience between songs (which he does a lot), and acknowledging song requests as the show progresses.

“Killermont Street” is one of the favourites that probably gets the most requests, and Frame responds with “yes, I’ll do that for you later”.

The sound quality is first class (the Town Hall is a lovely venue) and the band do the songs full justice.

Here’s a link to a fan video of 3 songs from the Salford date of the tour “Deep & Wide & Tall”, “In Orbit” and “Let Your Love Decide”

The Birmingham set closes with the audience on their feet for a rousing version of “Walk Out To Winter”

For encores, the audience is treated to the wonderfully dramatic “Rainy Season” (from the “Frestonia” album) which features a firey guitar solo from Roddy, before Roddy returns alone with his acoustic guitar  for the much requested Killermont Street”.

Roddy explains that Killermont Street was the route to the main bus station in Glasgow which was the link to the outside world and his music exposure when he was growing up.

The full band return and they finish the show with “Back On Board”.

Here’s a link to a fan video of “Rainy Season” from the Aberdeen leg of the tour:

And the solo live version of “Killermont Street”

SET LIST

Oblivious

Deep and Wide and Tall

Bigger Brighter Better

40 days of Rain

White Pony

Working In A Goldmine

Postcard

In Orbit

On The Avenue

Let Your Love Decide

Down The Dip

We Could Send Letters

The Bugle Sounds Again

The Boy Wonder

Walk Out To Winter

Encores

Rainy Season

Killermont Street

Back On Board

Blast From The Past

Here’s Aztec Camera performing “Oblivious” on Pebble Mill at One (1983):

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