Nick Mulvey *Call stores for availability*


Doors 7pm


Over 18 Only

On a beach in Honduras in the summer of 2010, Nick Mulvey experienced his sink or swim moment. Surrounded by strangers, clutching an acoustic guitar, having just told the other members of his band, Portico Quartet, that he needed this two week holiday to decide whether he was permanently leaving them, he started to sing.

“I knew that I’d probably never see these people again and also that they didn’t speak much English,” he says. “So I just decided to sing my mumbles really confidently, and suddenly I found all this imagery, all these new songs.”

For the 28-year-old whose writing has already influenced acclaimed Mercury Prize victors Alt-J, who quote Portico title Knee Deep In The North Sea in their jazzy Dissolve Me, picking up the guitar again felt like a homecoming after five years as Britain’s foremost player of the hang – the Swiss percussion instrument invented in the early 2000s. A steel War of the Worlds alien that gives out a warm melodic clang, its distinctive sound was in large part responsible for Portico Quartet becoming the most accessible Mercury nominated jazz act of recent years. Their debut album, Knee-deep in the North Sea, was Mercury nominated alongside Elbow, Radiohead and Adele in 2008, and led to several years of touring major venues for the band.

Mulvey essentially decided to leave Portico Quartet halfway through a lengthy global tour, but they remain firm friends, with Portico drummer Duncan Bellamy designing the artwork for Mulvey’s Fever to the Form EP, turning a score of the guitar parts into a pattern of dark blocks.

He didn’t rush into this new acoustic freedom. This EP was a long time in the making. For the first six months of his solo “career”, such as it was, he deliberately made no contact with the music industry. “All I wanted to do was play my instrument every day, to be in a room on my own and study my heroes.” He’s hit the road hard too, touring in support of Laura Mvula, Rodrigo y Gabriella, and Lianne La Havas.

Whilst the sparse, cleansed beauty of Nick Drake’s music can be heard (“He’s the main dude for me. It’s a reductionist thing, this boiled down music”), there’s a distinct sense of adventure more akin to the likes of Steve Reich, and even the guitar-picking intricacies of John Martyn that sits a lot closer to his sound. It’s difficult to pinpoint but enriching to listen to. Mulvey listened over and over to songs such as Lennon’s Jealous Guy and Prince’s When Doves Cry, pulling them apart to understand their intricacies.

“My playing is all about lines, not strumming chords. It’s about having motion and rhythm and groove. It doesn’t have to be complex, but it has to be animated. Singer-songwriter stuff, Philip Glass – it’s all in there.”

Following quality studio time with the likes of producers Dan Carey (Bat For Lashes) and indeed Alt-J favourite Charlie Andrew, Mulvey’s debut EP leads with Fever to the Form, ostensibly the record’s simplest strum but important to Mulvey as the first song he completed after leaving Portico. “It was a real watershed moment. The first line is, ‘So whether music or madness/I live by one of the two.’ That’s what the choice between the band and my own music felt like to me.”

Then there’s House of Saint Give Me, which Mulvey says falls somewhere between Leonard Cohen’s Ten New Songs and Brazilian choral music, and depicts in its lyrics his father’s retirement work tending his local cemetery. There’s the aforementioned Juramidam, a plucked rhythm with a sparse energy, and finally River Lea, a more experimental piece that combines Mulvey’s guitar with the adventurous cello work of Hannah Marshall.

The EP comes out through Communion Records (Michael Kiwanuka, Deap Vally, Half Moon Run), the independent label-du-jour co-run by Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons.

Mulvey may look like he’s starting afresh, but he insists that everything is connected. “Even though there’s a surface level difference between my music then and now, it’s all the same to me. I do the same things on the guitar that I did on the hang. It’s about repetition, hypnotic music, the groove. On this EP that groove meets songs.”

Nick Mulvey releases a new single in February 2014, ahead of his debut album in Spring 2014 through Fiction Records.

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Electric Circus

36 Market Street
United Kingdom

Venue Details

TUE 1 DEC 2015
King Tuts, Glasgow8.30 p.m.£5.00
Machine Gun Kelly
The Garage, GlasgowDoors 7pmsold out
WED 2 DEC 2015
Bernard + Edith *check stores for availability*
King Tuts, GlasgowDoors 8.30pmCancelled
THU 3 DEC 2015
Dope Dod *check store for availability*
plus support
King Tuts, GlasgowDoors 8.30pm£10.00
FRI 4 DEC 2015
Shed Seven and The Inspiral Carpets
O2 Academy, Glasgow7.00pmSOLD OUT
Lissie *Call store for availability*
Liquid Room, EdinburghDoors 7pm£17.00
Alabama 3
*check stores for availability*
O2 ABC, GlasgowDoors 7pm£19.00
SAT 5 DEC 2015
Holy Esque
St Luke's, Glasgow7.00 p.m.£7.50
Holy Esque
St Luke's, Glasgow8.30pm£7.50
100 Fables
King Tuts, Glasgow8:30pm£7.00
SUN 6 DEC 2015
Nothing More
King Tuts, Glasgow8.30 p.m.£9.00
O2 Academy, GlasgowDoors 7pm£20.00
*contact stores for availability*
O2 ABC, GlasgowDoors 7pm £17.0
MON 7 DEC 2015
Scouting for Girls *check store for availability*
O2 ABC, GlasgowDoors 7pm£22.50
TUE 8 DEC 2015
Guy Garvey *contact store for availability*
O2 ABC, GlasgowDoors 7pm£27.50
Scouting for Girls *check store for availability*
Liquid Room, EdinburghDoors 7pm £22.50
One OK Rock
*check stores for availability*
The Garage, GlasgowDoors 7pm£25.00
The Kooks *check store for availability*
Barrowland, GlasgowDoors 7pm£22.00
Ape Man Alien *Call store for availability*
plus support
King Tuts, GlasgowDoors 8.30pm£6.50
WED 9 DEC 2015
Lianne La Havas
*check stores for availability*
O2 ABC, Glasgow7pm £17.50
F*ck Yes (Live)
King Tuts, Glasgow8.30 p.m.£5.00
FRI 11 DEC 2015
Alexander O'Neal *call stores for availability*
The Queen's Hall, Edinburgh7pm£35.00
Brownbear (call store for availability)
King Tuts, Glasgow8:30pm£8.00
SAT 12 DEC 2015
Woodenbox (check stores for availability)
King Tuts, Glasgow8:30pm£8.00
Twilight Sad
Barrowland, GlasgowDoors 7pm SOLD OUT
Hudson Mohawke
*contact store for availability*
O2 ABC, GlasgowDoors 7pm£14.50
*check stores for availability*
Liquid Room, EdinburghDoors 7pm£17.50
SUN 13 DEC 2015
Magic Gang
King Tuts, Glasgow8.00 pm£6.00
MON 14 DEC 2015
Mumford & Sons
The Hydro, Glasgow6.30pm £37.50
The Charlatans *check store for availability*
Usher Hall, EdinburghDoors 7pm£27.50
Barrie-James O'Neill *check stores for availability*
King Tuts, GlasgowDoors 8.30pm£8.00