An opportunity to catch a rare-ish appearance by former Countdown contestant and guitar whizz Nick Saloman AKA The Bevis Frond, was not one to pass by.
This time around he was top of the bill at a celebration of 25 years of Flashback Records. Taking place upstairs at London’s illustrious Lexington pub, with a crowd of people, some even older than me (a rarity sadly), time constraints meant his set was reduced to just over an hour. But it was an hour where we got to see him weave his six string magic.
He’s got such a large back catalogue, which stretches as far back as the 1980s. It must be a bugger to pick a set list. Tonight’s was just right (well almost, I would have loved to hear live renditions of Stoned Train Driver and Sugar Voids) but hey it’s one of my heroes on stage in front of me. I’ve never seen him live before. He can do what he likes. I’ll still demand an encore.
Most tunes tonight are of the shorter in your face ilk. Johnny Kwango, Lead on, And Away We Go, Flood Warning are all signed, sealed and delivered with Nick’s world weary vocals and punctuated with some great lyrics.
His current band tick all the right boxes and I must say that the Robert Downey Junior lookalike on the other lead guitar Paul Simmons was totally on point. A great foil for Nick’s soloing.
There was room for one long piece, Stain on the Sun ( or at least I think it was, hic!). This gave everyone on stage the chance to shine (shine, sun…see what I did there?) It thundered along in fine style for at least three drinks. This is how I measure time at gigs nowadays.
Nick is a national treasure, his between tune banter, his nonchalant manner, his no airs and graces persona and a huge catalogue of psychedelic wonderment are testament to a rare talent.
A Frond farewell until the next time (April 8th London Oslo Hackney.)
by John Haylock