Wigan Evening Post

Nigel faces up

Singer’s second album is praised on its release.

Wigan songwriter Nigel Clothier has released his new album. Face is the follow up to Nigel’s acclaimed debut, Book Of Days, which was released two years ago. The sophomore effort has already been getting rave reviews from the music press. 

Maverick magazine said the album “instantly grabs you and you find yourself singing along”. Nigel, who also front popular rock act Sharp Practise, said, “I definitely feel as if this is a more confident album. Previously I had taken inspiration from the likes of Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell, but this time around I’ve been exploring the work of artists that have inspired them. Although there’s an American feel to it, there’s also some blues and country rock to be found on there too.”

Nigel decided to embark on a solo career in 2007, encouraged by Gorillaz producer Fran Ashcroft. Book Of Days was nominated in the Best Album Of The Year category at www,kweevak,com behind Blackmore’s Night, Journey and Todd Rundgren. His work was also featured on the Kweevak Music magazine Podcast.

Nigel, from Ashton, said: “When Book Of Days was released it did really well and I was getting interest from the US, France and Belgium. Its success encouraged me to write new stuff. For Book Of Days I had played all the instruments myself, which included guitar, piano, bass, organ and a pedal steel guitar. It’s been much the same for Face, but there’s also some fiddle on there and maybe a bit less pedal steel guitar.”

The album, produced by Niall Ladyglove, is packed with lyrics reflecting on the imperfections of love and life. The stark bareness of Nigel’s instrumental arrangements complement his mellow vocal performance and his complex lyrical depths. 

“I think people will be a bit surprised by the lyrical content,” said Nigel. “They certainly have a greater depth to them, but some of them have a cynical approach towards love and life.”

For some musicians and songwriters working on two different musical projects at the same time can be too much to handle. But for Nigel balancing his work on Face with Sharp Practise came quite easily. 

The 42 year old said, “Sharp Practise went out on tour in April and May with me as the support act performing my solo material! Everyone in the band has been really good about my solo work and the responses from the audiences have been great. Some people have even come up to me and said they prefer my solo set rather than the set with Sharp Practise! Whether or not I’d want to go out on the road on my own without the band is another matter.
Sharp Practise - 1999-2014