I was at the Newcastle Opera House for the first of Nick's section of the tour and it was an absolute corker of a gig. If Nick hadn't been supporting, and the godlike Boo Hewerdine not been in Eddi's band, I would probably not have bothered, but I did and I'm glad. Anyway, if you're hovering, don't, just go.
If you do attend any of these shows, do not be late and get yourself in to see young Mr Harper. About 75% of the audience had responded to the announcer's call to arms - always made easier at the lovely old Opera House by the fact that you can take your pint of Landlord or Mordue in with you! If you've not seen him before, I can just about guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised. Just one man and his acoustic - and a few switches which may once have belonged to his old man, Roy. A fine singer and a phenomenal guitar player who does stuff I haven't see anyone else do - no broken strings tonight so no chance to show off his 'replace the string while still doing the song' trick, but a lot of great moments in his 30 minute cameo.
Setlist: She Rules My World / Magnificent G7 / Radio Silence / Guitar Man/Whole Lotta Love / Headless/Grace (Jeff Buckley cover)
His medley of Guitar Man and Whole Lotta Love - yes, just one man and his acoustic but close your eyes and ...... - really got a rather reserved crowd on his side and he held them through to his stunning version of Jeff Buckley's Grace which appeared in the middle of his own Headless. It worked really well and made me listen to the lyrics a bit more closely - at one point I thought he was singing "And we never, ever sang Grace twice, in time?" but I think it's actually "Never, ever, in the same place twice in time"!
If this sounds a little bit odd, have a listen to his live Double Life which features credits for Gustav Holst, Public Enemy, Kool and the Gang, Killing Joke, Gang of Four and the Prodigy. Hear and believe.