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At 28 years of age, Nick Mulvey has accomplished more than most musicians will achieve in a lifetime. A key founding member of Portico Quartet, Nick has toured the world picking up a wealth of international acclaim, including a Mercury Music Prize nomination for their debut album Knee-deep in the North Sea.
On a beach in Honduras in the summer of 2010, Nick Mulvey experienced his sink or swim moment. Surrounded by strangers, clutching an acoustic guitar, having just told the other members of his band, Portico Quartet, that he needed this two week holiday to decide whether he was permanently leaving them, he started to sing.
‘I knew that I’d probably never see these people again and also that they didn’t speak much English,” he says. “So I just decided to sing my mumbles really confidently, and suddenly I found all this imagery, all these new songs.’
For Nick, whose writing has already influenced acclaimed Mercury Prize victors Alt-J, who quote Portico title Knee Deep In The North Sea in their jazzy Dissolve Me, picking up the guitar again felt like a homecoming after five years as Britain’s foremost player of the hang – the Swiss percussion instrument invented in the early 2000s. A steel War of the Worlds alien that gives out a warm melodic clang, its distinctive sound was in large part responsible for Portico Quartet becoming the most accessible Mercury nominated jazz act of recent years. Their debut album, Knee-deep in the North Sea, was Mercury nominated alongside Elbow, Radiohead and Adele in 2008, and led to several years of touring major venues for the band.
‘Nick Mulvey’s debut solo album draws on everything from African trance music to Paul Simon’ ★★★★★
‘Terrific Stuff’ ★★★★
VENUE: THEEXETERDAILY.CO.UK AUDITORIUM