Jonathan Richman walks onstage with a big smile on his face, and you just know that everything is going to be OK. The ex-Modern Lovers frontman runs through a sharp, quick-paced set, accompanied by a drummer so minimalist he makes Mo Tucker look like Keith Moon. But it suits Richman’s guitar/vocals perfectly. ‘I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar’ inspires a singalong, ‘Pablo Picasso’ is deconstructed and weirded-out and reminds me of Faust (Krautfolk?) and we get songs about Vermeer and Keith Richards (“playing guitar on the right for the Rolling Stones/he’s been standing over there since the days of Brian Jones”).
Throw in a pleasant and appreciative Luminaire crowd, and there isn’t much more that you could want. If pressed, I’d have wanted to hear ‘Roadrunner’, ‘New England’ and ‘Abominable Snowman’, and the set was on the short side at only 65 minutes or so. But those are small criticisms of a fun night.