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www.djburnham.com, Writing, Review of Nick Harper live at the Beachcomber, Brighton, 9th May 1996, David Burnham, D.J. Burnham, Dave Burnham

Nick Harper at the Beachcomber, Brighton

Thursday 9th May 1996

Nick had arrived in the early hours, following a gig in Bournemouth the night before. When we got to the venue at 4pm. we were a little unnerved to discover that it had recently been 'refurbished.' This had involved a lot of paint and the total disappearance of the stage area! Unperturbed, Nick mooched off along the seafront, and after a few minutes waved me over to him. He'd tracked down some builders working on the beach deck improvements scheme and had talked them into lending him a sheet of 4ft x 9ft of plywood, which we carried back to the venue. With the aid of several empty beer crates and a couple of dust sheets, Nick proceeded to build his own stage for the gig!

By 8pm. we'd sold out (200 capacity) on the walk-up. Adrian Truman and The Fold provided some excellent support performances and then Nick went on around 9.30pm. Inspired by Kaz's efforts with the lighting for the Worthing gig, we'd got a friend to lay on some colourful projections behind the 'stage' and the image of a Native American Chief appeared over Nick's shoulder. Once again, Nick turned in a storming set, to the delight of the sardine-packed crowd. To try to keep the chat down during the set, Paul Davison (all round fine fellow) had suggested that I copy what they do at the Jazz Café in London, and put up a few signs asking "Please S.T.F.U. during the performances" - you can work it out. Nick alluded to the signs, suggesting that they meant "Start throwing frilly underwear."

By this leg of the tour, the new songs were coming together really well and Nick was practically pinned to the back of the 'stage' by the thunderous applause. Also amongst the throng were Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook (what a top bloke) from Squeeze - it was only a couple of weeks before Nick was due to tour with them, both in the band and with a solo support slot.

After the show the merchandising desk did a remarkably brisk trade in Nick's CD's and lots of new folks joined the mailing list. Back home afterwards, we spent a very pleasant few hours eating, drinking and discussing life, the universe and everything.

Dave Burnham 1996

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