Who were those masked men? Why, they were Los Straitjackets, of course. The Nashville-based quartet are the hottest rock & roll outfit you’re likely to encounter and tonight they were in Perth backing the legendary Nick Lowe.
In 1991 Nick formed Little Village with the dream ticket line-up of Ry Cooder, John Hiatt and Jim Keltner. The reality didn’t live up to the promise, unfortunately, and Little Village folded after a year and just one studio album. Concert tapes confirm they were a live band to be reckoned with, however.
Fronted by lead guitarist Eddie Angel, Los Straitjackets are essentially a rockabilly/surf guitar group, but this is a hot band who can play any style with ease. Their matching silver sparkle DiPinto Galaxie guitars are modern instruments, yet they ooze 50s pawnshop aesthetics and complete the retro surf band look perfectly. Nick, meanwhile, sticks with his upmarket Gibson J200 acoustic, his guitar of choice for several years now.
Amid much stomping, cheering and even a little whooping, Nick returns for a second encore and delivers a superb solo acoustic version of Elvis Costello’s “Alison”, which was a clever twist on the previous song. Lowe produced the 1977 debut Costello album My Aim Is True, where “Alison” originated, so there could not have been a more fitting end to the evening.