17 March 2012

Nik Kershaw

Nik Kershaw in 1985, sporting that popular mid-'80s look probably best labelled "I-was-going-somewhere-posh-but-got-dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards-on-the-way".

After a brief school days dalliance in a band called Half Pint Hog, Nik Kershaw went to work as a clerk at the DHSS in Ipswich from 1975 to 1978 ("I spent all day handing out Giro cheques to people on the dole, it was really depressing. You'd see the same people every week, and you'd watch them going slowly downhill, yet all I could do was fob them off with a cheque.").

He later worked at his local Co-op hardware store.

Nik was also a member of a band simply called Hog - a spin-off from Half Pint Hog. He then joined an Essex jazz-funk band called Fusion, which split up in 1982.

Deciding to concentrate on song writing, Nik borrowed a friend's Portastudio cassette machine, and began writing and recording at home.

He was getting nowhere - rejection followed rejection, so he advertised for a manager in Melody Maker, got himself a gent called Mickey Modern, and a record deal soon followed.

Wouldn't It Be Good entered the Top Forty at Number 38 in February 1984 and Nik briefly knew tremendous success - becoming a pop idol.

This down-to-earth bloke actually wrote terrific pop songs - and they weren't just "pop pap" (I Won't Let The Sun Go Down On Me had wonderful anti-nuke lyrics).

Excellent. Whenever I hear one of Nik's 80s hits on the radio, a big daft grin spreads right across my face - from ear to ear.

Happy memories!


Col91R said...

Nik is and indeed still is an incredible talent, heck! I grew up with his songs and I wasn't even born when they were in the charts! And what a mullet, anyone who can pull that look off deserves my respect.

Drew said...

He was absolutely brilliant - and like so many other people and things from the 1980s, vastly under-appreciated!

Anonymous said...

The mesmerizing Riddle !

Unknown said...

Blimey! That brings it all back. I oft retell newly acquirred younger acquaintances of my own brush with Nik and fame. I working alongside Nick (as he was in the office) at the Unemployment Office, Grimwade Street, Ipswich. And I went to an early HOGG concert in the nearby sports hall of the Ipswich Civic College. And bought (or was bribed to take?) HOGG's first (I reckon) tape cassette recording. Still got it - it has been stashed from that day to this in my safety deposit box. Then not so long after that Nick said to me "Dave, I'm gonna quit the job to pursue my music career. Would you like to become my roadie?". My eyes glazed over with thoughts of reflected fame, fortune and fun on the road with the female groupies, and was about to say "Yes!", when Nick quietly added "But I can't pay you". Oh dear, you can guess where this is going, I said "No" and stayed at the Dole Office. What a mistake. Anyway, I really must find the key to that safety deposit box! David Whyman.
AND, Nick, I have following your passage through life now-and-again, and have always wished you well - as I do now. And if you need a copy of that old green cassette tape.... Dave Whyman (