Erstwhile keyboard player for The Hold Steady and proud owner of the finest moustache in rock and roll, Brooklyn-based Franz Nicolay hits Manchester tonight as part of a UK short tour.
“This should be a cool thing. I'm doing a UK tour with old buddies Dave Hause (The Loved Ones/Fat Wreck Chords) and Jack Terricloth & Sandra Malak (World/Inferno Friendship Society). Four punk rockers in a small rental car, driving on the wrong side of the road in cold and rainy January, what could possibly go wrong?”
Nicolay’s songs move from playful and poignant, from melodramatic gypsy-punk cabaret tunes to banjo-driven folk Americana – and are not without ambition. His last record, 2010’s “Luck and Courage” followed two characters Felix & Adelita (‘luck’ in Latin and ‘courage’ in Spanish): “She's a sometime bartender, he's been in the service, he's a little violent and she's a little distant”. The album tells of the “battle between the pull of domesticity and the habit of packing up and moving on. And their story, and the story of their nation of two, becomes the story of a plague-ridden, Cormac McCarthyian country as its society collapses”. But rest assured there will laughter as well as tears at tonight's gig.
No advance tickets for tonight's show at Tiger Lounge I can find and Last.fm suggests doors at 7pm. And as Franz says: “Be sure to get there early if you're coming to these shows - we'll be rotating the running order every night, playing some songs together, making it up as we go along, so you don't want to miss it”. The tour continues to Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Brighton and Southampton.
This Is Not A Pipe - Franz Nicolay