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Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets at Saint Andrews, 5 Things To Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets first toured together for a holiday show during late 2014.

Now it’s a gift for the middle of the year as well.

The veteran British rocker and the masked surf rock troupe are back together for a summer go-round, supporting the new “Tokyo Rising/Crying Inside” EP that was released on June 15. They’ll again play favorites from each of their catalogs -- and don’t be surprised if a holiday song or two manages to slip into the set list for some Christmas in June...

• Lowe, 69, and Los Straitjackets share a manager, which led to the initial introduction and longer-term relationship. “They’re an extremely good group, very, very good musicians, and also they’re extremely agreeable people to tour with,” Lowe by phone from London. “Our Christmas show was sort of an excuse for us to go out and do a few gigs. It’s not very difficult to replace the Christmas songs with some unseasonable material, and it’s great to be able to do tunes that I don’t do with anybody else nowadays, and that don’t really work when I do my solo shows. It’s a pretty good rock ‘n’ roll show we’ve got.”

• Lowe was flattered last year when Los Straitjackets released the tribute album “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straitjackets,” featuring instrumental versions of his songs. “I thought it was fantastic. It was extremely flattering, and I was amazed at how well it all translated. The thing I have learned from them is they’ve got an enormous repertoire of tunes and they can pretty much turn anything into a rock ‘n’ roll instrumental. They can get a groove on anything. Anything that’s got half a tune, they can present it right. With these guys anything is possible. I’m very lucky indeed to hook up with them from time to time.”

• Has Los Straitjackets given Lowe his own wrestling mask yet?” Um...They did give me one once, I think, but I left it in the dressing room. Masks aren’t really my style.”

• Lowe has “rather gone off the idea of making any more recordings” before the sessions that produced the new EP, partially because of the marketplace and the recent deaths of friends, as well as a busy (and lucrative) touring schedule. “I don’t want to be one of those guys who just churns out stuff that’s not got much juice in it, one of those old timers. So I wasn’t exactly beating a path to the nearest recording studio to inflict my latest stuff on the public. There’s such a lot of time and expense in making a record, and I’ve made so many of them, why would I put myself through them any longer?”

• This year marks the 40th anniversary of Lowe’s first solo album, “Jesus Of Cool,” which was titled “Pure Pop For Now People” in the U.S. “It’s hard to believe that it’s that long ago. I don’t feel that different, really, than the way I did when it came out -- but when I shave and look in the bathroom mirror I say, ‘My God, who’s this old goat staring at me?! Where did HE come from?’ But I’m very lucky to be still at it and not having to be on some sort of grim oldies circuit. I’m very happy about that.”

If You Go:

• Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets and Pi Flower Trio

• Friday, June 29. Doors open at 7 p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.

• Tickets are $25-$60.

• Call 313-061-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

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