Nick kicked off his Spring tour in typically fine style in Lincoln. Fuelled only by two pints of water (!), he played an excellent set of some old favourites, plus some more unusual songs. The Whack 'n' Riddle Tree was particularly notable for his ability to detune two strings at once, using both hands, whilst the tune seemed to carry on regardless! How does he do that?!?
Everything's Better was another less familiar live tune. He then slung a harmonica over his neck to play what sounded like an old song, probably called Raining Outdoors. All he needs now are a bass drum and cymbals between his knees and he could make a fortune! He said he found the harmonica "under a Bob Dylan's Songbook in my Dad's bottom drawer", but I think he had his tongue pretty firmly in his cheek. He could play it though.
He finished the set with a love song still "under construction", probably going to be called 'Stronger'. Beautiful lyrics (starting with "I drew a picture of her"), but the key of the vocal needs some attention, as he told the audience in between verses! Highlight of the night for me was an absolutely manic version of Song of Madness, complete with THE BIG FINISH. When I first heard Harperspace, I didn't see how he could possibly perform it live, but I should have known better than to doubt the capabilities of The Man. Quite whether he'll perform it every night for the next two months is perhaps another question!
The new live double CD (cunningly entitled Double Life) was being advertised on the merchandising stall but won't be available for about 10 days, apparently . . . either at gigs or £14.50 from Quixotic Records. [available now - Paula] He also said that he was recording a new studio album in the summer, so that's something else to look forward to.
Watch out Paula & Co in Scotland... here he comes! Next stop for me is Pocklington and Holmfirth.