28th Mar, 2020

Nigel and fellow Britpop stars staying out for acoustic night

Ross Crawford 13th Mar, 2020

NEVERMIND coronavirus, Nigel Clark reckons he’s been self-isolating for the best part of 30 years.

He’s exhausted by the latest health scare, concerned we’re all being manipulated by the national news agenda, and would rather sit in his basement studio and work on new material.

Luckily for us the former frontman of Dodgy, son of Redditch and now resident of Pershore is taking to the stage again this coming Saturday.

He’s playing the Artrix in Bromsgrove where he’ll be joined by fellow Britpop favourites, Chris Helme of The Seahorses and Mark Morriss of The Bluetones.

Each will perform a solo acoustic set although Nigel isn’t ruling out the three of them coming together for a grand finale.

“I like playing solo gigs but there’s nothing quite like playing together – we all live in different parts of the country and have never rehearsed it – but just think of the harmonies!” says Clark.

“Chris is a great singer and Mark is a great raconteur, so you never know.”

Dodgy are best known for their hits Staying Out for the Summer (1994), If You’re Thinking of Me (1996), and Good Enough (1996) and such is their enduring pulling power that next year will see them embark on a world tour starting in Australia.

To coincide with it all their albums will be re-issued on vinyl.

“We came in right at the end of vinyl and I have none of our records in the format so that’s really exciting,” said Clark.

Dodgy were always a band with a social conscience, visiting war-torn Bosnia in their heyday, and that fire still burns bright today.

“There’s a massive contradiction at the heart of our society,” said Clark.

“We’re told in the history books that the way forward is through peace yet what are the biggest industries in the US and UK? The armaments industries.

“Those families trying to escape from Idlib in Syria are fleeing bombs us and the Russians have made.”

Clark grew up in Headless Cross and Lodge Park and is a former pupil of the Vaynor School, Lodge Farm Middle and Kingsley High School.

After leaving town he headed south for the bright lights of London to forge a career.

“I was working on songs, trying to put a band together – we were lucky, there’s no way we could have survived in London if prices had been what they are today,” he said.

The retreat to rural Worcestershire occurred when, married and with two children, the family were living in Islington.

“It was really difficult to get the children into the local school and the next nearest was two and a half miles away which would have taken ages and I thought to myself ‘you’ve had your time in London, it’s time to get out’.

“I must have taken my wife through Pershore once when we went to visit my mum, who still lives in Redditch, and she said, ‘let’s move to Pershore’, and we’ve been here 11 to 12 years.”

For the Artrix gig Nigel’s promising songs old and new and the three Britpop stars will be in the bar afterwards where they will be selling and signing merchandise for fans.

The gig is this Saturday, March 14 and tickets are £21.50 at www.artrix.co.uk or call 01527 577330.

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