Ken Nicol (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ken Nicol
Birth name Kenneth Stephen Nicol
Born (1951-05-27) 27 May 1951 (age 63)
Preston, Lancashire, England
Genres Rock, folk, electric folk
Occupations Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer
Instruments Guitar, ukulele, banjo
Years active 1974–present
Associated acts The Albion Band, Steeleye Span
Website www.kennicol.co.uk

Ken Nicol (born 27 May 1951) is a British guitar player, vocalist and songwriter. He was a member of The Albion Band for many years and for eight years (2002–2010) played in the electric folk band Steeleye Span.


Early years[edit]

Ken Nicol was born on 27 May 1951 in Preston, England. He received his first guitar at the age of twelve, but did not start playing seriously until the age of fifteen. At the age of seventeen Nicol began performing on the regional folk club circuits, and at the age of twenty moved to London where he lived for nine years.

Breakthrough[edit]

In 1974 Nicol formed the band Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street with his then brother-in-law Pete Marsh, and it wasn't long before they landed their first major record contract with CBS. They went on to produce four albums on the CBS and Polydor labels, the last album, titled Nicol and Marsh, being recorded in Los Angeles. Working in L.A. prompted Nicol to make his home in the USA, moving there in 1979. He performed as a solo artist, and later as lead singer and co-writer for the band Versailles.

Nicol's career floundered during what turned out to be a turbulent and unsettling period in America. As a result of this he decided to return to England in 1988, and went back to work on the club circuit as a solo performer releasing the albums Tidings (1990), Living in a Spanish Town (1993) and 2 Frets From the Blues (1995).

Later years[edit]

In the 1990s Nicol became a member of The Ashley Hutchings Dance Band. He later joined The Albion Band as lead guitarist and singer, writing much of the band's material himself though also co-writing with Ashley Hutchings. The Albion Band produced four albums during Nicol's time in the band: Happy Accident, Before Us Stands Yesterday, The Christmas Album and Road Movies.

In December 2002 Nicol successfully joined forces with the legendary folk-rock band Steeleye Span on their "UK Reunion Tour". In 2004 Steeleye Span released two albums: They Called Her Babylon and Winter. This was also the year of Steeleye Span's 35th Anniversary World Tour which took the band to Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and to theatres and festivals throughout the UK. In 2006 they released the album Bloody Men and in October 2009 the album Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.

In June 2010 he announced that he was leaving Steeleye Span.

Nicol also continues to write, tour and record as a solo artist, releasing the album Thirteen Reasons in 2005 and Initial Variations in 2008. He also regularly appears in duos with comedian/musician Phil Cool and with Albion Band/Steeleye Span founder Ashley Hutchings.

In November and December 2010 he is to perform as "special guest guitarist" with Lancashire folk group The Houghton Weavers.

Nicol also co-hosts a folk and roots music podcast called "FolkCast".

Discography[edit]

Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street

  • Easy Street (LP) (1974)
  • I've Been Praying (single) (1974)
  • Midnight Cat (single) (1974)
  • Sinking Down (single) (1975)
  • Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street (LP) (1976)
  • I've Been Loving you (single) (1976)
  • Feels Like Heaven (single) (1976)
  • Under the Glass (LP) (1977)
  • Flying (single) (1977)
  • Nicol and Marsh (LP) (1978)
  • Hurt By Love (single) (1978)
  • Streets of the Angels (single) (1978)

Ken Nicol solo

  • Ken Nicol (cassette) (1988)
  • Little Children's Blues (cassette) (1988)
  • Holywood This, Hollywood That (cassette) (1989)
  • Tidings (1990)
  • Across the Spectrum (live) (1991)
  • Living in a Spanish Town (CD) (1993)
  • 2 Frets From the Blues (CD) (1995)
  • Clean Feet, No Shoes (CD) (1998)
  • The Bridge (CD) (2001)
  • Thirteen Reasons (CD) (2005)
  • Live in Florence (Download) (2006)
  • Tidings (CD) (2006)
  • Ken Nicol (CD) (2007)
  • Little Children's Blues (CD) (2007)
  • Initial Variations (2008)

Ken Nicol and John St Ryan

  • Last night in Paris (single) (1994)

Ken Nicol and Chris While

  • Shadows on the Wall (1995)

Steeleye Span

Ken Nicol & Phil Cool

  • Nicol & Cool (2008)

Ken Nicol & Ashley Hutchings

  • Copper, Russet and Gold (2010)

Session recordings[edit]

  • 23 Carrots (Al Stewart) (1980)
  • Shot in the Dark (1980)
  • Road dreams (Kevin Brown) (1983)
  • Some Love (Les Barker) (1992)
  • Look at me Now (Chris While) (1992)
  • Spun from a Silken Web (Ron Lister) (1994)
  • Blue Moon on the Rise (Chris While & Julie Matthews) (1995)
  • Such is Life (Julie Matthews) (1995)
  • Nice Work (Clare Teal) (1996)
  • A Batter Pudding for John Keats (Ashley Hutchings) (1996)
  • The Guv'nor vol 4 (various artists) (1996)
  • The HTD Summer Folk Selection (various artists) (1996)
  • Piecework (Chris while and Julie Matthews) (1997)
  • Folk Aerobics (Ashley Hutchings) (1997)
  • Happy Accident (Albion Band) (1998)
  • Before Us Stands Yesterday (Albion Band) (1999)
  • The Albion Band Christmas Album (Albion Band) (1999)
  • Kate Howden and Paul Jones (Kate Howden and Paul Jones) (1999)
  • Ridgeriders (The Ridgeriders) (1999)
  • Pete (Pete Abbott) (2000)
  • Pendle Moon (Phil Brown) (2000)
  • Stages (Chris While and Julie Matthews) (2000)
  • Classic Folk No. 1 (various artists) (2000)
  • Along the Downs (various artists) (2000)
  • The HDT Years (Albion Band) (2000)
  • Silver Waters (Kate Howden and Paul Jones (2001)
  • Street Cries (Ashley Hutchings) (2001)
  • Road Movies (Albion Band) (2001)
  • Grandson of Morris On (Ashley Hutchings) (2002)
  • Against the Wall (Pete Abbott) (2002)
  • Human Nature (Ashley Hutchings) (2003)
  • The Magic of Morris (various artists) (2005)
  • Midwinter (various artists) (2006)
  • Manic Morning Music (Ernesto de Pascale) (2007)

External links[edit]