Chambers dictionary defines genius as: ‘someone who has outstanding creative … ability’. That’d be Nick Harper then. He’s a guitar wizard! Last night we saw him play a free gig at The Bear Hotel in Marlborough, warming-up for his spring/summer tour of the UK.
Top of the bill on a Sunday night in Marlborough!
I’ve blogged about him before here and here as we’ve seen him play a number of times already. Hopefully we’ll see him play lots more, too. And we still can’t believe that anyone can be so phenomenally talented while simultaneously being virtually unknown by Joe Public. As a fan and fellow unknown artist, I consider it my duty to spread the word of Harpic (as he likes to call himself). Here he is doing his stuff:
It’s not just me saying how damned good he is. Last year Julian Piper of Guitarist magazine wote of Harpic that he is: “Dylan for the iPod generation…Betjemen with a guitar”. And he’s right! And Robin Denselow in The Guardian said: “Frank Zappa would have been impressedâ€¦ he deserves to become a major figure in his own right.” True! The Times said: “Harper has so much musicianship in him that it just leaks out all over the place.” Yes! You see, I’m not making it up!
So last night, in a small bar room of a pretty ropey hotel this unsung guitar wizard stood before his cheering fans (who packed out the place and spilled out of the door and had to peer in through the windows) picked up his guitar and began. Nick doesn’t so much play his guitar than make violent, bodice-ripping, passionate love to it. It’s quite a sight to see! And he doesn’t really sing or perform, he is unleashed. And this crowd he was playing to were his harshest critics – the locals of his local bar. A home crowd, granted, but these folks wouldn’t stand for any shit. They didn’t get any. They loved it. Some sang along with every word, or stood with eyes closed and pint in hand to savor every note and feel the sheer force of this music.
I managed to make this little sketch of him. The bugger kept moving his hands though…
It doesn’t say so on his website but Harpic is also a magician and a timelord. He effortlessly compressed 90 of your earth minutes into what felt like just 15.
Harpic even invites you to download a song or two for free so you can check out for yourself how fab is music is. And it is, though I must say that I think he is far, far better live because his show is so just full on. So go see him play on tour this summer. I guarantee you’ll be astonished and delighted. You don’t have to like any particular genre of music to get off on Nick Harper. You just have to like music.
Photos: Mostly Moth Clark