It might be stretching things a bit far to suggest that the night was as much about Mr Lowe as it was about Cooder, but it's obvious Nick deserves a fair bit of credit for luring reclusive Ryland back into live performance mode.

For a start, Lowe's repertoire gives Cooder something new to play around with, and from the solo in the middle of Fool Who Knows it seemed the man was enjoying the opportunity to add something to someone else's material.

With the first number out of the way, Lowe's ability to step in and deliver a classy line in wry stage patter takes a fair bit of the spotlight away from a man who one suspects is quite happy to have it deflected somewhere else.

Fool For A Cigarette and Feelin' Good were delivered with a fair amount of animation, and there was a definite vibe of Pop's sneaked out behind the kids' backs and he's gonna have a little fun playing some down and dirty guitar throughout proceedings.

Along those lines, Vigilante Man showed that the night was more about feeling than perfect on-stage reproductions of the recorded version, and Lowe's Losin' Boy provided another chance to step back from the spotlight.

Juliette Commagere and band had delivered an impressive half-hour or so opening set, heavy on atmospheric swathes of keyboards with Joachim (a.k.a. the busiest drummer in Brisbane tonight)'s driving beat and she was back on stage for Chinito Chinito and much of the rest of the set, contributing backing vocals and assorted percussion along with her keyboard player.

Extremely easy on the eye and a classy contributor as far as the vocal harmonies are concerned.

The party had been in Brisbane for a couple of days, which may explain the frequent Holden references throughout Crazy 'Bout An Automobile. One suspects, from his remarks, that Ry's a ute man.


© Ian Hughes 2012