Nick at Spilsby Theatre,
Friday 22 November 2002 - by Steve Pursglove

The new guitar makes its first appearance in public! Photo by Steve

The new T shirts were available last night in Spilsby - the web site picture makes them look black, but they're actually khaki green, and the sizing seems a bit on the generous size (i.e. a 'small' is more like anyone else's medium). Excellent value for a tenner, and seemed to be selling well!

Nick's new Lowden made its performance debut last night, after repeated requests (demands!) from the audience. Nick was reluctant to let it loose, as he said it would take a while "to thrash it into shape", and that it hadn't had time to get the warmth and resonance that he's used to. However, he played one song with it in the middle of the set - a new one to me, with the opening line something like "a message came through". Not surprisingly, the guitar sounded beautiful to my uncultured ears. It also looks stunning - let's wait and see what it looks like this time next year!

He then put it back in its case, and we thought that was that. But wait... for an encore, after a particularly exahusting Love Is Music (with a substantial new cover section of Jeff Buckley - thanks for the info to Catherine W.), he played a quite exquisite unplugged version of She Makes Music on the new Lowden, whilst sitting ampongst the audience. I was going to take a photo, but the crowd was so quiet that even the sound of a shutter would've spoiled the magical moment. Simply breathtaking, and such a fabulous song.

Another particular highlight was a lovely version of Pendle's Choice, which you don't hear every day. Catherine mentioned that the Cambridge gig didn't see a single string break - well, Spilsby had three, and I'm not sure quite how many strings are left intact in his vocal chords, but the boy could do with a rest, really. Never being prepared to give the audience less than 110% can have it's problems!

Roll on Grimsby on Tuesday...

Updated 9 August 2003
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