Thirteen years after the release of Sordid Fiction, Lowest of the Low are back with a new album called Do The Right Now. The release of new Lowest of the Low music is reason to celebrate, and a completely sold-out crowd gathered at The Danforth Music Hall to celebrate The Low's music on Saturday night.
We got a full gamut of Low songs starting with the opening track off of Do The Right Now, "Powerlines", all the way back to songs from pre-Low band Popular Front, to the closing tune of the second encore, "Rosy and Grey" from the band's debut, Shakespeare My Butt. The band, comprised of bandmates-since-1983 Ron Hawkins on vocals and guitar, David Alexander on drums and Lawrence Nichols on harmonica, vocals, acoustic guitar and keyboards, plus Derrick Brady on bass and Michael McKenzie on guitar, played superbly and sounded awesome. In short, the songs, the band and the crowd came together for a fantastic night.
Ron gave us some great tidbits on the songs on the new album, including the fact that he felt "Gerona Train" should have been on Shakespeare My Butt, that new track "Immortal" is a conversation between present-day Ron and his 25-year-old self, and that "Something To Believe In" is an old tune from Ron's pre-Low band Popular Front. The new album is as solid as you'd expect and the new songs fit right in alongside the classics. It won't be long before we've learned the words and will be shouting them along. I liked the little details, like the new "More Art Less Bullshit" sticker on Ron's Tele. That's a sentiment that's always been true, but we might not have needed the reminder more than we have in recent times.
I've never been shy about saying that I'm a huge Lowest of the Low and Ron Hawkins fan. I maintain that he's one of the best songwriters Canada has produced and I've been a fan since before Shakespeare My Butt was released. I've been lucky enough to photograph The Low doing their thing at TURF 2013 and at Beerfest 2015. Click the links for those posts. All my posts on Ron's extra-Low endeavours can be found here.
Here's the setlist from this show:
"Kinda the Lonely One"
"For the Hand of Magdalena"
"Letter from Bilbao"
"Do the Right Now"
"Salesmen, Cheats and Liars"
"So Long Bernie"
"City Full of Cowards"
"Just About the Only Blues"
"Something To Believe In"
"The Last Recidivist"
"Gossip Talkin' Blues"
"Bleed a Little While Tonight"
"Rosy and Grey"
The band have a bunch more shows planned, starting with next weekend's appearance at the Sandbanks Music Festival and they mentioned dates at The Horseshoe for later in the year. Can't wait to see them back in the venue where I witnessed so many shows back in the day. Do The Right Now is available. Right now.
Listen to some of my favourite Lowest of the Low tunes:
The Dirty Nil. They're from Dundas, ON and they play punk rock. They rocked the Koop at Riverfest Elora 2017. I'd seen photos taken by my fellow music photographers, and I knew the music, so I knew a little of what to expect. It was my first Dirty Nil show. And I was excited. I was not disappointed. From the first moment when singer/guitarist Luke Bentham jumped right in front of me, through audience members using my shoulder to boost themselves on stage only to dive back into the growing pit, I was in musical heaven. This band plays with amazing energy. They get a crowd going. They have awesome tunes and they're fun to watch. Then they closed with one of my favourite old-guy power pop tunes - "Surrender" by Cheap Trick. I was left a fan, and an advocate.
I just had one question - Was this the same slot the Dilly Dally occupied last year when they blew my mind? Might have been... Give The Dirty Nil a listen and go see them live: "Friends In The Sky"