Entry Requirements: Over 18's
We are delighted to welcome back magnificent Nick Harper back to Berits & Brown for a night of blistering guitar skills, soaring vocals, killer songs and a fair bit of patter.
** Please note that we operate a no talking policy when the acts are performing. This is for the benefit of both the artists and the audience. If you like to talk during a gig, then our gigs are not for you **
"My musical discovery of 2016!" Tom Robinson BBC6 Music
The start of 2018 finds Nick going solo again. He is currently on tour playing songs requested by fans who have emailed in. Dubbed the '100 Things' Tour it has been very popular with Nick's long-standing fans and unearthed some 'forgotten' gems from the back catalogue for welcome airings. Instead of a show formulated away from the fans and presented to the public en masse, this tour has been formulated with the fans and then presented on a more individual and therefore intimate basis.
This is a precursor to Nick's first outing as an exponent of the spoken word! Nick's poem 'A Wiltshire Tale' has grown into an epic paean for his home county and will be touring the South West in the Spring of 2018.
Son of the legendary UK singer-songwriter Roy Harper, Nick was born in London and raised in Wiltshire. Having played the guitar from the age of 10 and surrounded by the likes of Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Dave Gilmour as he grew up, it was no surprise when Nick made his recording debut on his father's Whatever Happened to Jugula? in 1985.
Nick's talent and energy entranced Roy's fans and it was inevitable that he would begin touring and recording in his own right. The 1994 EP Light at the End of the Kennel was swiftly followed by his powerful 1995 debut long player Seed prompting The Independent to describe him as "hugely talented".
After a chance meeting with Squeeze frontman and songwriter Glenn Tilbrook in 1996, Tilbrook was so impressed that he offered Nick a job playing with and supporting Squeeze and promptly signed Nick to his own label, Quixotic Records. Following tours in the UK, USA and Japan, Nick recorded the 1998 album Smithereens with Tilbrook as producer. This album and subsequent 40 date solo tour, including dates in New York and Glastonbury, confirmed Nick as a formidable talent in his own right. "If imagination, energy and bags of talent were the only factors in making a successful pop career, few would deny that Squeeze man Glenn Tilbrook has backed a winner in Nick Harper…Splendid stuff" - MOJO magazine.
He teamed up with Tilbrook again on 2000's highly acclaimed album Harperspace. This is the album that confirmed his position at the forefront of a new generation of British Acoustic Performers. "Nick Harper has a quality that stands head and shoulders above anything else you are likely to encounter…The Verse Time Forgot from the new album 'Harperspace' is as close to a perfect song as you are likely to get." Edinburgh Evening News
To call Nick a superlative singer/songwriter could put his highly lauded guitar talent in the shade, and to call him a guitarist's guitarist might slight his distinctive, soulful voice and passionate songs. Not forgetting the wild ride that is one of his live shows - from personal introspection to biting political satire via a charmingly caustic wit that would make Groucho Marx proud. He often segues from his own compositions to well-loved covers he makes his own - he takes on Presley, Zappa, Jeff Buckley, Led Zeppelin, Monty Python and Public Enemy (yes, on an acoustic guitar). He also has the alarming ability to break guitar strings almost by sheer force of will… and then change them without dropping a beat. For over a decade, he has been dazzling audiences and reviewers alike with this heady mix of virtuosity, boyish charm, showmanship and sheer bravado. His talent and showmanship were recognised in 2003 with a (Glasgow) Herald Fringe Angel award for excellence in live music during his Edinburgh Festival run. "Harper has so much musicianship in him that it just leaks out all over the place." The Times
Between albums Nick is known for touring with a vengeance - he's now appeared at Glastonbury Festival six times - but also for his charity work devoting energy to fundraising projects as one of the organisers of Avebury Rocks in Wiltshire, raising substantial funds for a hospice near his home. In 2007 Harper's charity single Blue Sky Thinking from the album Miracles for Beginners went to No.1 in the iTunes charts with proceeds going to the Love Hope Strength Foundation (LHSF). Nick had just returned from Nepal after helping the foundation set a new world record for the highest gig on Earth near Mt Everest Base Camp. Nick has been on two further treks with LHSF in Peru and Tanzania fundraising for local medical centres.
'The Last Guitar Tour' saw Nick touring the UK throughout spring 2010 supporting his 7th studio album 'The Last Guitar' This album had more than a few songs inspired by Nick's travels and treks with Love Hope Strength and with legendary producer Tchad Blake at the helm the album took on a new, bold and forthright sonic quality.
After the success of 'The Last Guitar', Nick once again teamed up with Tchad Blake to produce a classic recording, 'Riven' in 2013. Nick also called on old friends Jeremy Stacey ('Blood Songs'), Ben Jones ('Harperspace') Jon leveller ('Blood Songs') Jakko Jakksyk and his daughter Lily to add to his own performances.
2014 saw Nick go right back to the beginning and produce a recording made in 9 days of 9 songs called NIX, his 9th studio album. This album pleased long time fans of Harper for its unadulterated style, featuring Nick on acoustic guitar and vocals with nothing else added- that is more immediate and closer to his live performances.
After leaving a streak of rip-roaring, celebratory shows in 2016, road-testing his back catalogue of 12 albums, Nick Harper & The Wilderness Kids (aka Port Erin) returned with a new album Lies! Lies! Lies! and UK tour for 2017.
Amidst a backdrop of flags being changed and mottos applied, ‘’350 million reasons why, written on the side of the bus’’, saw Nick and The Kids nailing their colours to the mast.
The album was recorded in Studio La Fabrique, France (Radiohead- Moon Shaped Pool, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds-Push the Sky Away) with the legendary producer Tchad Blake (The Black Keys, Pearl Jam, T-Bone, Peter Gabriel). Blake brought his masterful touch to the unceasingly creative cauldron of Nick, his songs and now, his band.
‘The Wilderness Kids’ met up with the renowned solo acoustic singer-songwriter at a record store day event, where they jammed on some of Nick’s tracks from his ‘Best of’ triple LP set ‘The Wilderness Years’. Nick immediately realised the potential, promptly picked up a baritone electric guitar and the pace hasn’t let up since. The exciting energy and chemistry between the 4 had Nick’s fans in rapture and the combination of the much-loved songwriter added to the zest present in this new gang, made capturing the zeitgeist in the words and music of the new album inevitable. Lies! Lies! Lies! is an intelligent, yet exuberant album rooted very much in the now.
Nick's other recent work has seen him appear in the studio alongside Lana Del Ray playing on her cover of Leonard Cohen's hit Chelsea Hotel no 2 from her acclaimed 2014 album Ultraviolence as well as featuring on recordings by Newton Faulkner, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and The Levellers.
After 10 studio albums, a double live CD, 2 EPs (including Instrumental, a stunning display of his guitar talents) and a rockumentary style DVD 'Love is Music' Nick's work is still as fresh and vital as that of his first solo release in 1994 but as evidenced by his highly personal 2004 "family album" Blood Songs, he still has time to sing about the most important things in his world - family, friends, love and ife.
"My musical discovery of 2016" - Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music
From sell-out tours to a critically acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe Festival run via numerous radio and TV appearances to a vinyl box-set of his career retrospective - and now on to a winter tour with a band for the first time in 10 years - 2016 has been a high point for Nick Harper. He enters his third decade as a performer with a vitality that could put younger musicians to shame.
Here is an artist worth far more than the sum of his parts. His impeccable musical pedigree means nothing without the skills to back it up and skills Nick has, in his virtuoso guitar playing, song-writing and signature vocal acrobatics. Over a solo career of 9 studio albums, 2 EPs and 2 live albums - as well as the recent vinyl career retrospective - the quality of his musical output has only improved. It is no surprise that artists and producers as diverse as Squeeze, Lana Del Rey, Newton Faulkner, Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), The Levellers, Jakko Jakszyk (Level 42, King Crimson) and legendary producer Tchad Blake have collaborated with him. This is not a man easily pigeonholed into existing musical genres; Nick is very much blazing his own trail.
Nick’s full range can be heard in his last two solo albums. He moved from 2013’s ‘Riven’, an epic and lush 75-minute recording split into light and dark halves - celebrating family while railing at the state of the modern world - to 2014’s ’Nix’, an unadulterated recording made in just nine days - 9 songs with acoustic guitar and vocals, which pleased longtime fans with its evocation of his live performances.
In addition to recording and touring with a vengeance, Nick is also known for devoting his energy to fundraising projects, particularly organising Wiltshire’s Avebury Rocks festival for the Prospect Hospice where his mother died. With the Love Hope Strength cancer charity, Nick helped set a new world record by performing at the highest gig on Earth at Everest Base Camp and trekked to Machu Picchu and Mount Kilimanjaro.
In 2017 Nick is only booking to perform at a few, select festivals in the UK. There is no UK solo tour, but there are plans afoot, many irons in the fire… watch this space… But whatever path he takes, rest assured that Nick Harper is, and will remain a musical force to be reckoned with.
Nick Harper Live Nick playing 'Purple Rain' at Henry Tudor House 2016 Listen to the full back catalogue here on Bandcamp: https://nickharper.bandcamp.com "Betjemen with a guitar... Dylan for the iPod generation." Guitarist Magazine