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Nik Kershaw at Oran Mor, Glasgow 6 March 2010- Review

March 16th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Nik Kershaw at Oran Mor, Glasgow 6 March 2010

There is a common saying about great songs being able to stand up to a simple arrangement ie no matter how heavily orchestrated, produced or arranged a good song will still be a good song when sung with a simple accompaniments (eg acoustic guitar or piano) or even with a solo voice.

Nik Kershaw proved this point on Saturday 6 March when he performed an acoustic set at Oran Mor in Glasgow’s West end. In a set of old and new songs Nik Kershaw demonstrated exactly how to deliver his songs using his masterly songwriting and performing abilities.

Although most of his material has more colourful arrangements  he played a range of songs from throughout his career using just an acoustic guitar occasionally accompanied by a Roland sequencer which he records live parts to and played/sang over.

OK  a lot of people may not consider Nik Kershaw Prog Rock but here is an artist who, for me, knows no boundaries, has a unique approach and can write great songs, play and perform: that’s good enough for me.

Most of his eighties material contained synthesisers and drum machines he gave them all a new life in the ‘No Frills Tour 2010’. His songs are so well written and constructed that every single one of them sounded awesome and some even excelled beyond the original in terms pure emotional delivery (Have a Nice Life is a classic example whereby he mentioned that it often has grown men in tears).

Don Quixote is an awesome song which has a very distinctive rhythmic character and orchestration but with only a simple bass drum pattern backing he gave the song a whole new life.

Wounded has a very intricate Latin arrangement on record and also stood up to the unplugged treatment while Human Racing sounded miles better with guitar with all the chords and stark key changes being really emphasised in the bare sound.

In a style reminiscent of Neil Finn, Nik had some great banter and introductions to songs. Sure this always works better in a smaller gig and more intimate environment but a lot of musicians would do well to watch the likes of Nik Kershaw and  Neil Finn and learn how to provide an engaging performance with the audience.

With the ability to make fun of himself and his career ups and downs he gave an excellent performance on songs old and new. Highlights for me included Oh You Beautiful Thing,  Fifteen Minutes, Billy, …..erm in fact the entire gig was a highlight and every song was excellent.

Having said all that I would still love to hear all these songs with the ‘Festival Band’. As the songs can easily stand up to simple acoustic arrangements they would be equally powerful with a full and and some nice new fresh arrangements.

Oh and I would also love to get the keyboard gig in the band for that tour!

Requests for the next tour would be Wounded Knee, Radio Musicola, Can’t get Arrested, Show them what you’re made of, When a Heart Beats…..and your entire repertoire.

Categories: Modern Prog
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