❉ Nick Lowe steps out of studio retirement for a historical reunion with The Damned’s Rat Scabies.
Last weekend, in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust, legendary producer and singer-songwriter Nick Lowe stepped out of studio retirement to oversee a special rendition of his classic hit ‘(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding’ by charity supergroup The Spammed, whose line-up boasts legendary punk-era musicians Rat Scabies of The Damned and Horace Panter of the Specials. The sessions took place at Mark Knopfler’s enormous British Grove Studio in Hammersmith, and marked the first time Lowe and Scabies had been in studio together since recording The Damned’s 1977 debut Damned Damned Damned over 40 years ago. “I suppose I have never been able to afford working with Nick since”, Scabies joked.
The Spammed was originally formed in 2015 by artist Harry Pye, musician and actor Micko Westmoreland (The Bowling Green, Micko and the Mellotronics, Velvet Goldmine) and the late Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Band, The Rutles, GRIMMs, Idiot Bastard Band), and its current line-up includes the aforementioned Westmoreland, Scabies and Panter, alongside the much-storied saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Terry Edwards (Madness, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, The Blockheads and Julian Cope), Banshees and Mellotronics guitarist Jon Klein and comedian Kevin Eldon (Fist Of Fun, Big Train, It’s Kevin, Nighty Night) on vocals.
The Specialized Project, a social enterprise now in its second decade of supporting young people in challenging circumstances, has been releasing themed compilations of cover versions since 2012 and to date the project has raised over £125,000 in support of the Teenage Cancer Trust. This new recording of (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding will feature on its forthcoming compilation Viva – Songs of Freedom.
Nick Lowe, who still performs, has long since retired from producing recordings for other artists, and until last weekend had not produced anything since recording the Mavericks for the Apollo 13 film soundtrack in 1995. The artist told Vive Le Rock magazine: “It’s a good song which has been covered so many times over the years, I now scarcely feel I had anything to do with it. I was flattered to be invited and very pleased for an opportunity to get out of the house and spend time in the stimulating company of similarly under-employed musicians.”
❉ (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding’ will feature on its forthcoming compilation ‘Viva – Songs of Freedom’ available in the new year. More details at https://specializedproject.com
❉ Content: AP Childs, edited by J Gent. Pics courtesy of Ashley Jones & Harry Pye.