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LOWELL — Midway through Peter Lavender’s set, the evening started to take shape.

Channeling Elvis Costello, the local crooner reached a loud and quirky crescendo. Martinis were downed. Fans stormed the dance floor. A well-inked couple made out in the corner. Through the windows of the snug blues club, the Eastern Canal seemed to shimmy and shake.

On this Friday night, the city of Lowell was as alive as London and The Back Page felt like a swinging club along the River Thames. It’s hard to imagine that reporters, myself included, once clacked out stories here.

Located in the former Lowell Sun building, the year-and-a-half-old nightclub is giving downtowners a reason, beyond sushi and suds, to stay out after dark. Tucked down a canal off Kearney Square, it took time for crowds to come. But last November, “it was like a switch was turned on,” said owner Bob Ramirez.

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Marquee musicians such as James Montgomery, local uke hero Melvern Taylor, and a steady cavalcade of tunesmiths who perform regularly in Cambridge clubs have turned The Back Page into front-page news.

Most nights, 30- and 40-somethings who have snapped up luxury lofts in this revitalized urban village settle into swank booths for martinis of the moment called s’mores, the Louis Armstrong, and the Dirty Canal ($12).

Similar to the beloved Toad in Cambridge, here patrons will find no cover, live music nightly, and plenty of local characters to liven up the joint. Spread the news.


15 Kearney Square, 978-455-4418, www.back
pagelowell.com

KATHLEEN PIERCE