Grant Nicholas, the frontman of Feeder, has been taking some time away from the band to indulge in some solo work. Having already had a successful debut solo album and tour, Grant Nicholas has returned with a mini album, doing it the right way. Keeping it all in the family, the beautiful artwork was designed by his daughter.
'Black Clouds' is an extension from 'Yorktown Heights' but, in reality, it's more songs that this very talented singer/songwriter just had to share with us all. There are no sounds of the rip-raging Feeder guitar, but this is a whole different project and the last piece that Nicholas will release before dawning that Feeder mindset and mood.
The title track is dark in respect of the lyrics, and yet you can't help but sing to this. A perfect song to show that you don't need massive guitar riffs to get you hooked. The acoustic set up really does complement the vocals of Nicholas and you can sense that he is relishing this new format out there on his own.
Continue reading: Grant Nicholas - Black Clouds Album Review
While Grant Nicholas is known mainly as the lead singer of Feeder, it was clear from the beginning that this show would be a Feeder free zone. If, like me, you love Feeder and you have heard Grant's new album 'Yorktown Heights', then you might've felt a little concerned on how the show was going to go down, and how the Nottingham crowd would react bearing in mind the huge difference between the ticket sales of the solo artist and of the band.
The Bodega was full to bursting, though, by the time Grant was ready to appear. Looking in good spirits, Grant entered with his band of men; for a solo jaunt, the stage looked as full as the rest of the venue (not forgetting the poor guy in the corner getting into position to tune and swap guitars in between songs).
The first chords of 'Counting Steps' were played and the packed out Bodega was silent apart from Grant and his guitar. The silence was scary as everyone became transfixed on the man singing in front of his fairy light decked mic. The mood continued with 'Safe In Place' and 'Soul Mates' which truly showed the confidence this guy has in his music. You couldn't get a bigger contrast of this against Feeder.
Continue reading: Grant Nicholas - The Bodega, Nottingham - February 20th 2015 Live Review
Ben Walton's Top Albums of 2014
10) Grant Nicholas - Yorktown Heights
Feeder's Grant Nicholas went down the familiar lead-singer-does-a-solo-album route this year, and the results weren't too bad in the end. Yorktown Heights is a more sombre and acoustic take on the recognisable sounds of his regular band but there is still plenty of bite and energy on tracks like 'Joan of Arc' and 'Time Stood Still'. On Yorktown Heights, Nicholas proved he could pen a tune with more emotional depth than anything about a CD player player player player player.
9) CJ Wildheart - Mable
Not exactly a surprise that a member of The Wildhearts did a solo album this year, but CJs first solo work in seven years is an absolute mother of a sonic gut punch. The power pop blitzkrieg comes thick and fast with songs like 'Better Late Than Never', 'Devil' and the album highlight 'Vitriol'. CJ took the opportunity of his second solo outing to prove that The Wildhearts was never a one man show.
8) Beck - Morning Phase
2014 saw the welcome return of the musical equivalent of Willy Wonka, Beck. Morning Phase revisited the acoustic sounds of his seminal 2003 album Sea Change, with an added dash of optimism. The four years Beck took out between this and his last studio album obviously did him some good as Morning Phase features some of his best songs, such as 'Blue Moon', 'Waking Light' and the gorgeous 'Heart Is A Drum'.
Continue reading: Ben Walton's Top Albums Of 2014