Folk legend in Peel tribute

Folk singer Nic Jones has come a long way since he was in a coma following a head-on collision in 1982.

Monday, 30th September 2013, 4:13 pm
Folk singer Nic Jones
Folk singer Nic Jones

He has come so far, in fact, that earlier this year Radio 2 named him as its Folk Singer of the Year.

In the 1970s Nic was a folk giant; one of his traditional arrangements was even covered by Bob Dylan.

And his Penguin Eggs album from 1980 regularly appears in lists of the best records of all time.

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Now, the 66-year-old makes only rare live appearances –just a handful each year – after spending years rehabilitating and regaining his prowess as a guitarist and singer.

But he has agreed to take part in one of a series of shows at The Continental throughout October and early November, which will pay homage to legendary DJ and presenter John Peel.

Nic, who has been a major influence on the folk scene since the early seventies, recorded eight Peel sessions between 1972 and 1977 and it is because of his affection for the late radio presenter that he has decided to get involved.

For the gig – known as Folk Peel – on Sunday, October 20, he will be appearing as a duo with his son, Joseph.

Also on the programme during the evening will be Mike Heron and Trembling Bells.

Together they will be performing some classic material from the Incredible String Band, of which Mike was an original member.

The Incredible String Band still has a strong following and this was evident when its first four albums were re-released to unanimous critical acclaim in 2010.

Trembling Bells, a four-piece Glasgow-based band, is one of a new generation that draws inspiration from the ISB and albums such as Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter or Wee Tam and the Big Huge.

Mike Heron, who is now in his 70th year, and Trembling Bells will be covering a wealth of material from the ISB songbook – and much more besides.

The impressive line-up for Folk Peel will be completed by Emma Pollack who was one of the two songwriters with the Scottish group The Delgados, a big favourite of John Peel.

Between 1995 and 2004 they recorded an impressive 15 John Peel sessions and also featured in the Festive Fifty more than a dozen times, securing the number one slot in 1998 with Pull the Wires from the Wall.

The Delgados split in 2005, but Emma is still involved with the label the band founded, Chemikal Underground, and has recorded two solo albums.

Tickets for the gig are £15. For a two-page special on the alternative 80sin Preston see Wednesday’s Retro in the LEP.