Nils LofgrenSomething happens when a perennial sideman steps out of the shadows.

Especially when the shadows cast are as large as those that loom from Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young.

Throw in collaborators as diverse as XTC and Ringo Starr and we’re talking about a big ask to establish an individual artistic identity.

Its lucky then, that Nils Lofgren has a voice and guitar playing style that has always helped him hold his own. And continues too.

In between world tours with Springsteen’s E Street Band – three, two-year slogs around the globe in the last decade – the former Grin (ask your dad or Google ‘em) songwriter has created a trust with his small but confirmed audience; a trust that sees his fans patiently wait on his record releases and solo tours.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back over to England,” he tells SevenStreets in that enigmatic, West Coast drawl. “Am I playing a pub?”

Erm, no, Nils, it’s a performance venue – and a fine one (let’s hope its future is looking more secure these days. It will be if it continues to book acts of Nils’ calibre).

“Great. I’m bringing another guitarist with me, so we wanna’ be able to create a good sound. Guitars sounding great together and harmonies too. Perhaps even a bit of tap dancing…”

Tap dancing? “Maybe don’t push that too much, but it has happened here in the States.” You have been warned.

Just resist any shouts for Springsteen or Young requests.

Well, maybe one or two…

Alan O’Hare

Nils Lofgren, October 13
Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead.

Tickets from: www.pacificroad.co.uk