Nick Mulvey at Buxton Opera House, Buxton, 6 October 2018, from £20 - Book now
London-based songwriter Nick Mulvey’s career has followed an interesting arc. His formative years were spent learning Latin-influenced guitar techniques in Cuba, before heading to London to study ethnomusicology. There he turned to percussion, and helped found Portico Quartet, whose output spans jazz, electronica, minimalism and ambient music. The group, who are now signed to Manchester’s Gondwana Records, forged a singular sound which won them a Murcury Prize nomination, as well as a wealth of critical and popular acclaim.
After playing the hang drum in 150 world-wide shows with the group, Mulvey decided to forge his own path, and to return to his guitar. This was a bold move, but one that paid off. Released in 2014, his debut solo effort First Mind was an intricate, tender record, celebrated for its deft integration of expressive songwriting, West-African rhythms and pop hooks. Quite rightly, it won Mulvey a Mercury Prize nomination of his own.
Three years later in 2017, Mulvey picked up where he left off. Wake Up Now was a texturally complex record in which his interest in world music and ethnomusicology was laid bare. The record also has great lyrical depth, hitting on topics like the refugee crisis and fracking, as well as more inward-looking topics. Recorded as a live band with producer Ethan Johns (Paul McCartney, Ray Lamontagne), the tracks were then passed to First Mind producer Dan Carey, who embedded them with electronic flourishes. The result is a joyous meeting of immediacy and detail.
Mulvey’s songs translate wonderfully to the stage. Moreover, his instrumental ability and his soulful voice are real treats to witness live. Having sold out London’s Royal Albert Hall earlier this year, and with recent intimate performances being lauded by the music press, we look forward to catching Mulvey at the Buxton Opera House on the 6 October. Showcasing his gorgeous new album alongside his previous work, this is set to be an enchanting evening.
Nick Mulvey at Buxton Opera House, Buxton