|Birth name Kenneth Stephen Nicol|
Name Ken Nicol
|Years active 1974–present|
Role Guitar player
|Born 27 May 1951 (age 64)
Preston, Lancashire, England (1951-05-27) |
Occupation(s) Guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer
Associated acts The Albion Band, Steeleye Span
Music groups Steeleye Span (2002 – 2010), The Albion Band (1997 – 2002)
Genres Rock music, Folk music, Electric folk
Albums Present – The Very Best of St, A Parcel of Steeleye Span, Bloody Men, Cogs - Wheels & Lovers, They Called Her Babylon
Similar People Ashley Hutchings, Rick Kemp, Liam Genockey, Peter Knight, Julie Matthews
Instruments Guitar, ukulele, banjo
Kenneth Stephen Nicol (born 27 May 1951) is a British guitar player, vocalist and songwriter. He was a member of The Albion Band for many years and for eight years (2002–2010) played in the electric folk band Steeleye Span.
Nicol was born in 1951 in Preston, Lancashire. He received his first guitar at the age of twelve, but did not start playing seriously until the age of fifteen. At age 17, he began performing on the regional folk club circuits, and at the age of twenty moved to London where he lived for nine years.
In 1974 Nicol formed the band Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street with his then brother-in-law Peter Marsh, and it wasn't long before they landed their first major record contract with CBS. They went on to produce four albums on the CBS and Polydor labels, the last album, titled Nicol and Marsh, being recorded in Los Angeles. Working in L.A. prompted Nicol to make his home in the USA, moving there in 1979. He performed as a solo artist, and later as lead singer and co-writer for the band Versailles.
Nicol's career floundered during what turned out to be a turbulent and unsettling period in America. As a result of this he decided to return to England in 1988, and went back to work on the club circuit as a solo performer releasing the albums Tidings (1990), Living in a Spanish Town (1993) and 2 Frets From the Blues (1995).
In the 1990s Nicol became a member of The Ashley Hutchings Dance Band. He later joined The Albion Band as lead guitarist and singer, writing much of the band's material himself though also co-writing with Ashley Hutchings. The Albion Band produced four albums during Nicol's time in the band: Happy Accident, Before Us Stands Yesterday, The Christmas Album and Road Movies.
In December 2002 Nicol successfully joined forces with the legendary folk-rock band Steeleye Span on their "UK Reunion Tour". In 2004 Steeleye Span released two albums: They Called Her Babylon and Winter. This was also the year of Steeleye Span's 35th Anniversary World Tour which took the band to Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, and to theatres and festivals throughout the UK. In 2006 they released the album Bloody Men and in October 2009 the album Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.
In June 2010 he announced that he was leaving Steeleye Span. He continues to write, tour and record as a solo artist, releasing the album Thirteen Reasons in 2005 and Initial Variations in 2008. He also regularly appears in duos with comedian/musician Phil Cool and with Albion Band/Steeleye Span founder Ashley Hutchings. In November and December 2010 he is to perform as "special guest guitarist" with Lancashire folk group The Houghton Weavers. Nicol also co-hosts a folk and roots music podcast called "FolkCast".
Nicol & Marsh's Easy Street
Ken Nicol solo
Ken Nicol and John St Ryan
Ken Nicol and Chris While
The Albion Band
Ken Nicol & Phil Cool
Ken Nicol & Ashley Hutchings