The almighty Toploader are heading to Collett Park Festival this September, supporting them is local legend and all round top guy Nick Parker will be taking the prestigious supporting slot. A guy with humour, a guitar and accompanied by 5 other rockers. You need to make sure you get there on time to check him out. In the meantime though, you can get to know him better thanks to this interview.
Hi Nick! So Toploader, September … how did that come about? Have you played Collett Park before?
Hi, I’ve not played Collett Park before but in my old band Why? (20 years ago) we used to play regularly at The Amulet in Shepton. Lots of fond memories of gigging in the town.
Why should people get there earlier and check out your set?
Ha! Um, maybe people will like what we do. We’re a six piece upbeat folk rock band and we’ll hopefully leave people with smiles on their faces.
The local area is rich with talent right. Who do you think we should be looking out for?
Hmm, there are loads which is why this is a difficult question to answer. However I can see Lee Rahn going a long way, and I’m a big fan of Steve Henderson’s songwriting.
You are also heading out on tour with Gaz Brookfield. Do you ever get the chance to just stop and chill out?
Well I do this for a living so stopping and chilling out gets quite expensive. To be totally honest there’s an awful lot of time to chill out while touring.
Are there any other artists you are eager to work or tour with?
I would love to tour with Loudon Wainwright III. We have a similar approach to lyric writing and many people who buy my music say they like me because I remind them of him.
You have traveled the world playing music. Where has been the strangest place to play?
There have been a few. One memorable gig was totally unplugged in a shoulder-to-shoulder Croatian nightclub, but probably the weirdest was a festival in Kiel, Germany, where the stage was a platform in the sea and the audience were all on land. Was quite hard to create any kind of atmosphere.
You spend a lot of time playing in Germany. How would you describe playing there in one chorus?
I like playing in Germany, doobee doo doo,
It’s really nice, doobee doo doo,
This chorus would be way better, doobee doo doo,
but I should really be packing for a festival right now, doobee doo doo.
Coda: The audiences are very respectful: being quiet, listening, singing along when invited, not asking for ‘any Sheeran’. You are very well looked after by the venues (they can’t believe musicians have to buy their own food and drinks in the UK). Many people still buy CDs. I could go on.
What was the inspiration behind the new collection of t shirts?
I think I got tired of the usual black-or-nothing band T-shirts. I wanted to offer something different. However keeping stock of 24 different colours of T-shirts, dresses, hoodies, Toodies, kids’ clothes, covets etc is proving to be a nightmare!
Who was the little boy who joined you on stage at Wistful Festival? He looked like he had an awesome time.
Ah, he’s so cool. He’s the son of some friends of mine who run their own festival and run a mead bar at other festivals. Kids are the future of festivals, music and – well, everything really – so I like to get them involved as often as possible.
If your music was to be featured in a movie. What would happen? Who would star in it?
It would be about a man who’s way too old to still be making music but he still plugs away at it because it’s the only thing he’s half decent at.
It would star the cast of The Day Today, Chris Morris, Steve Coogan, Patrick Marber, Doon MacKichan, Rebecca Front, David Schneider and Peter Baynham.