Nigel says: “From an early age I wanted to play music, inspired by my mother’s records, which she played incessantly. The Shadows and The Beatles were inspirational. I like the way the late George Harrison crafted a solo that fits the song, often short, sweet and to the point. I’m not technically a great player, but I try to emulate George’s approach. Later influences came from Status Quo, Ten Years After and Wishbone Ash, and players like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Walter Trout, Tinsley Ellis, Robben Ford and Carlos Santana.
I got my first guitar when I was seventeen; a late start, but better late than never! (Read about my guitars here and amplifiers here) Bands soon followed, mostly dire though an early collaboration with an up-and-coming poet, Nigel Kingscott, produced some interesting original songs. A summer season touring with Marcia Somers at the end of the 1970s, playing bass and occasional guitar, was my first real experience of playing music professionally. Bad Reputation was formed in 1983 to satisfy my increasing interest in The Blues, though I do not regard myself as a blues player. Our set list contained songs from Howling Wolf, Jimmy Reid, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and others.
Kevin joined Bad Reputation in 1984 and the band went in a different direction, introducing pop and rock and roll covers making us more commercially viable. Original material too and with a change of personnel, Bad Reputation became Horny Toad, whose set was entirely original and mostly written by Kevin.
Horny Toad ceased for a variety of reasons and I took a break from bands until 1991, when I was invited to join The Paradise Club, a blues, soul and dance band with a horn section and a great lead guitarist and singer, Chris, and superb drummer, Jack. My brother James played bass. The Paradise Club was very popular around the south west UK, gigging so often that my playing improved dramatically just from the practice! I felt that at last I had found the style I wished to play so was very sad when come to an end, so in 1994 I formed Crossfire, playing blues covers and originals. A successful band in its own way, it lasted until 1997. By then I was suffering severe hearing loss, so I decided it was time to stop playing live. Every band I’d been in had been louder than the previous one!
Since then I have been involved in various short-term musical collaborations, leading to the offer from Kevin to record a blues-style album as The Vi Blues Band.
Listen to some of Nigel’s music here
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