Nick Lowe, Paul Carrack, and Andy Fairweather Low

Perth Concert Hall

Graeme Thomson

five stars

THIS year’s terrific Southern Fried concluded on Sunday night with a deluxe recreation of an old fashioned Nashville guitar pull. Looking less like a band and more like masterminds of the Hatton Garden heist, three of Britain’s most venerable and versatile artists delivered a superb show full of wit, warmth and lightly-worn virtuosity.

The trio “toured” once last year (all the way to a south London boozer), and are redoubling their efforts in 2016 with two dates, of which this was the first. They clearly relished the opportunity: with the excitable Fairweather Low as comic foil, the tone was part Everly Brothers, part Chuckle Brothers.

Armed only with acoustic guitars, they passed around lead vocals, pitched in on harmonies and guitar, and took the scenic route through a shared past. Loose, lovely versions of Merle Haggard’s Shelley’s Winter Love, Buck Owen’s Crying Time, Bobby Darin’s Things and Goodnight Irene merged with pages from their own musical histories. Lowe pulled out a wonderful Cruel to Be Kind and a ragged but right I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll). Fairweather Low revisited his Amen Corner days for crowd-pleasing renditions of Bend Me, Shape Me and If Paradise Was Half as Nice, picking up his 1975 hit Wide Eyed and Legless en route. Carrack whistled through Over My Shoulder, written and sung for Mike and the Mechanics, and ended proceedings with a spirited version of his classic soul stomper How Long.

A gentle encore of Lowe’s ever-apt Peace, Love and Understanding sealed a memorable night. Fairweather Low was right: they really should do this more often.