Nick at Portsmouth Railway Sidings,
Tuesday 12 November 2002 - by John Roberts
(Barking Spider Promotions)

Maybe it's a bit crass for the promoter of a show to be doing his own reviews, but here goes anyway!

"Possibly the City Bar's gig of the year" was the hook I used on the advertising for this show, and judging by the number of people we reluctantly turned away at the door, this would certainly seem to be the case. Nick filled the room with people and some of the most wonderful music imaginable. The man has transcended living in his famous father's footsteps, with superb songs, a great voice and a lightning guitar style. In fact, I was very aware that almost everyone who spoke to him that night (including me!) mentioned Roy at least once - it must get a bit wearing sometimes, as Nick is such a talent in his own right. I suppose Jakob Dylan and Dweezil Zappa get the same problem.

High points of the Portsmouth show for me included Elvis Presley's Guitar Man played at a million miles an hour segueing seamlessly in and out with a Led Zeppelin riff. Nick's version of The Stranglers' Golden Brown (rechristened Gordon Brown) was a great hit with the audience, and The Magnificent G7 gave us an insight into his particular take on the government.

At one point Nick broke a string mid-song, but restrung his instrument whilst continuing to play and sing, managing this seemingly impossible feat of dexterity without turning a hair. I know it's not the first time he's done it, but it was certainly the first time I'd ever seen it done, and I promote (and attend) an average 100 gigs a year! Awesome.

The City Bar's upstairs room holds 100 tops, including staff and performers, so we were limited to 90 in the audience due to fire regulations and health and safetly issues. After the soundcheck, the young lady behind the bar, who comes from Cardiff, gave Nick a message from her dad - he wanted to apologise about the behaviour of the crowd at the recent Cardiff gig he attended, and that he hoped Nick and Roy would change their mind about their avowed intention never to play Cardiff again! Later she bought an album for her dad, and was thrilled that Nick signed it for him. A nice touch.

Unlike the Cardiff audience, the Portmouth crowd were in great form, attentive and enthusiastic. After the show, Nick indicated to me that he's be happy to come to Portsmouth again - I'll go for a bigger venue next time, without a doubt! And if I dare say the "R" word, it'd be great to persuade the old man to come along for the ride too...

Created 30 November 2002
© JR/PLC 2002