08 March, 2015

Gig Review... Grant Nicholas @ The Portland Arms, Cambridge, 4th March 2015

Everyone knows who Feeder is, "Buck Rogers" was a track that effectively a big part of my youth, however, when Grant Nicholas announced that he was going solo a lot of people thought it may be along the same lines of Feeder, but he took another route. Going down the Acoustic come Folky come Americana route he has kept loads of his fans from the 90's and 00's and is continuing his success in with a whole new project.

To be brutally honest I only heard one track of his new solo material before heading out, and I liked what I heard, but the gig was something else. When I arrived The Portland Arms was the busiest pre-doors for a long time, with everyone coming in early to get the best spot for the show. Before Grant took to the stage a local act - Mark Ellis - took to the stage, then it was the turn of Grant!

Making an entrance is something he has perfected over the years with Feeder/Renegades, so he wasn't going to settle with just walking from the dressing room at the back of the room to the front, oh no, he liked to make them wait and come on stage to 'walk on music' - which in itself, a lot of acts don't do these days, it creates a sense of theatre and gears you up even more!

As I said before, I wasn't too aware of what other tracks I could be expecting on the night, but he opened the set up with the beautiful "Safe In Place", it was a very gentle way to open up with, you could really feel the connection with the fans, with them looking captivated and all singing along. This track couldn't be better, it sounds like it was written for opening shows up with! He said during the set it was nice to have a change of pace in his life, rather writing about being drunk and drinking he was writing about his family, friends and even his son.

The song in question was "Father To Son", and this too was one of the cornerstones of his set, he shared a joke prior to the track, mentioning that when he wrote the song, he played it to his son, who, sadly, said "Dad I don't like it". Heart-warming and humorous all the same but it turns out his son now loves it. 

With a couple of wobbles at the start of songs, a bunch of laughs, a toast to BBC Radio 2 for playing one of his shows this is Grant back to what he does best. Performing with a great catalouge of material, he played his entire debut album as well as 5 new tracks from his 'mini-album' - I was half expecting to hear a Feeder track in the set, but if you are a die-hard Feeder fan you will not be disapointed. His performance was brilliant, fans loved it, the band were all tight - as you would expect - the songs were strong and Grant's vocals were on form, what's more is that I loved it!

Go and see Grant when he tours again! Or if he's playing a festival, make time in your day to go and watch him, it'll be time well spent! To check out the setlist CLICK HERE.

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