Unsung Heroes No. 9 – Nik Kershaw

5 12 2008
Nik Kershaw - Have guitar, will travel....

Nik Kershaw - Have guitar, will travel....

Eternally damed as a lightweight 80’s designer pop star, Nik Kershaw is, in reality, an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter. His highly catchy 80’s hits a quite deceptive. delve beneath their glossy exterior and you find considered and clever arrangements and changes. take the song ” When a Heart beats” for example – the solo is completely off the wall, worthy of Bill Nelson or Robert Fripp, and the riff has a killer time signature.

When he disappeared off the radar as a solo artist after releasing four excellent albums, he resurfaced alongside Elton John on guitar – recording a duet with him, and wrote the No. 1 hit for Chesney Hawkes “The One and Only”. Success also came his way courtesy of a brace of hits he wrote for teen act Let loose. Further collaborations with Les Rhythm Digitales and Genesis’ Tony Banks further cemented his reputation as musician’s musician.

He returned in the 21st century with a pair of albums any artist would be proud to call their own. Eschewing the sequence/synth heavy production of his past and opting for a more acoustic-led approach, he delivered “15 Minutes” and “To be Frank” . Both albums an embarrassment of riches, a songwriting masterclass.

His latest release – “You’ve got to laugh” is available only on the internet. Forget any 80’s preconceptions, Nik Kershaw is one of the UK’s leading songwriters. He should be declared a National Treasure.

Check out this beautiful version of his biggest hit “Wouldn’t it be good” with more than a little help from Howard Jones.

Kev Moore

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2 responses

23 11 2012
Sebastian Junior

I’m listening to To Be Frank now, and it’s astonishing to me that this talented musician is considered a novelty one-hit wonder. The high-quality tunes on display deserve an audience. No wonder the record business is in the toilet!

23 11 2012
kevmoore

Sebastian, I couldn’t agree more! His songwriting consistency is astonishing, and the record business is in the toilet because, in most cases it wouldn’t know a genuine artist if it smacked them upside the head!

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