Nick Pynn

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Nick Pynn (born 17 November 1962) is a British musician and composer noted for his use of bass pedals and live looping with electroacoustic stringed instruments. His early interests were in world folk and experimental music, busking around Germany and the Netherlands, having taught himself guitar and fiddle.


His early work includes playing with various bands, recording sessions (including rockabilly legend Ray Campi) and television commercials. In the mid-80s, Pynn studied musical instrument making, producing several instruments he still plays and records with now.

Nick Pynn started his musical career in the mid-80s with the Leigh-on-Sea 'soil music' barn-dance band, The Famous Potatoes.[1] He played fiddle, banjo, mandolin, mandocello and viloa on their albums, The Sound of the Ground, It Was Good for My Old Mother, and Born in a Barn.

Pynn joined Steve Harley in 1990 on acoustic guitar and fiddle, taking the lead guitar role in 1996. The 'Stripped to the Bare Bones' tour of 1998 with Pynn accompanying Harley on mandocello, dulcimer, acoustic guitar and violin was a success; a CD Stripped to the Bare Bones from the Jazz Café, London was released, and the two-man show received a 5 star review at the Edinburgh Festival.

Pynn’s debut solo CD In Mirrored Sky (1995) is a collection of autumnal pieces, and features bass player Herbie Flowers and Adrian Oxaal of James on cello. Flowers introduced Pynn to Richard Durrant, which led to the joint album Nick and Dick (1997). Music from Windows followed in 1999. Its theme is summer, with melodies drifting from open windows in Brighton streets. The album ends with four pieces commissioned for a dance performance: 'Flood'. These two solo albums were re-released in 2007 as a double album.

In 1999, Pynn joined girl band B*Witched for a tour of UK arenas. One of the highlights of the tour was Pynn being hoisted high above the stage in a 'metal cage' for a fiddle solo.

Pynn then started playing with the new acoustic version of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. In 2002, the band opened for Robert Plant's Dreamland tour and double-billed on tour with The Pretty Things. Pynn still plays with Brown as a two man show, and contributes most of the instrumentation and arrangements on their new album The Voice of Love.

In August 2001, Pynn went to Edinburgh with The Life and Death Orchestra for a Festival production of poetry, written by survivors of the Holocaust put to music. During the second half of the month, he joined American Perrier Award winning comedian Rich Hall in his band, Otis Lee Crenshaw and The Black Liars. Pynn also met Jane Bom-Bane, and together they wrote and produced Rotator, a CD of palindromic (forwards and backwards) songs for 2002, and the Fringe show 'Year of the Palindrome'.

Pynn premiered a solo show in 2003 called 'Music from Hotels Rooms, Forests and Submarines'. Using wine glasses, playing cards and live sampling, in addition to his various stringed instruments, his show was well received and was nominated for an award. In May 2004 Pynn's third solo album Afterplanesman was released, the reissue of which made it into The Sunday Times 100 Best Albums of 2008. In the following year at the Edinburgh Festival, Pynn won a 'Spirit of the Fringe Award' for his music.

The latter part of 2006 saw a successful two-man show tour of Germany, Norway, Michigan and Toronto with Arthur Brown, and shows with comedian Boothby Graffoe. 2007 started with sell-out shows at the Sydney Opera House with The Lost and Found Orchestra (a creation of Stomp) in which Pynn played musical saw, bed bass, bellows organ, bottle bellows, metallophone, traffic-cone berimbau and squonkaphone amongst other instruments. Later that year, Pynn won the 'Star of the Festival Award' in Brighton, and was co-winner of the 'ThreeWeeks Editor's Award' with Jane Bom-Bane. In November he played solo shows in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. An album of original Pynn compositions The Colours of the Night released in October 2009 was recorded above Bom-Bane's Cafe in Brighton. Nick is currently touring with Kate Daisy Grant with whom he won The Latest Award for 'Best Music Act' in the Brighton Fringe in 2013.

Selective discography[edit]

Solo recordings

  • In Mirrored Sky (Roundhill RHLCD43) 1995
  • Music from Windows (Roundhill RHLCD99) 1999
  • Afterplanesman (Roundhill ROUND004) 2004
  • In Mirrored Sky / Music from Windows (Roundhill ROUND007) reissued as double package in August 2007
  • The Colours of the Night (Roundhill rhlcd09) 2009
  • talktapes (Roundhill rhlcd011) 2011
  • Nick Pynn Live at the QEH and Edinburgh Fringe (Roundhill rhlcd012) 2012


  • Nick And Dick The acoustic collaborations of Nick Pynn and Richard Durrant (LongMan 026CD) 1997; re-issued 2006
  • Rotator (Roundhill ROUND2002) Nick Pynn and Jane Bom-Bane 2002


  1. ^ "Famous Potatoes Home Page - playing "Soil Music" for barn dances and other events". 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2013-03-23. 

External links[edit]