Britpop lovers are in for a treat when Dodgy front man Nigel Clark arrives in Norwich later this month to perform an intimate acoustic gig and DJ set. Ahead of his gig he took some time out to speak to the organisers of Common People about what 90’s music lovers can expect.
What are you up to at the minute?
I’m sat in my favourite cafe called Bara Menyn in Cardigan West Wales having breakfast. I am having a songwriting break at the caravan with Chris Helme getting away from it all.
You still do plenty of stuff with your Dodgy bandmates. That's something you clearly still enjoy?
Yeah, we’ve had a very busy year celebrating 25 yrs of our Homegrown album . The guys are great and a real pleasure to still be performing together after all these years. There’s something magical about the band at the moment and I think this has a lot to do with the fact that we have been playing together for so long. It’s never been so good. “There are still some things that money can’t buy”
When starting out all those years ago did you imagine you'd still be going strong so many years later?
I’m not sure I had the imagination for that? Time creeps up on you.
Sometimes 25 years can seem like last week. We don’t talk about who’s the 1st one to settle down anymore, good music is timeless I think as a songwriter that’s what we should aspire to be, always.
What has been the secret to your success?
Remaining humble - trying not to take things to seriously- keeping music and business very separate.
Looking out for each other.
Turning up to write a song for better or worse. “All success is made from failure” so don’t be afraid to fail.
Are you surprised that 90s music in general is enjoying something of a renaissance? Why do you think that is?
I’m not surprised at all , it’s just what happens when we get into our 40’s & 50’s - people get nostalgic, kids are old enough to have babysitters, your fave band has just reformed, it’s a chance to reconnect with the teenage you again. There’s nothing wrong with it. Plus the bands love having a second chance.
It’s quite difficult for the bands as the audience want to hear the songs from the nineties and the band want to play their new material. It’s finding the right balance.
You played Norwich earlier this year and received a great reception for Homegrown tracks. Has that been the case everywhere you've toured this year?
Yeah it’s been fantastic, this has been my favourite tour of my music career. We never played the album in its entirety or running order back in the 90’s so it was new for us all.
I really appreciate the work that went into the whole album all those years ago. So big thanks to our younger selves and Hugh Jones (producer).
You also hinted a possible return to mark the 25th anniversary of Free Peace Sweet, which would be in 2021. Is that likely?
I think with the success of the Homegrown tour, it’s definitely up for consideration.
Personally, I would love to do it. Again we never played the album in its running order back in the day, so it will be a first for everyone.
What else is next on the cards for the band?
After such a busy year, I see us regrouping in Feb 2020 and getting a plan together for the next couple of years.
There is talk of another album/ recordings and I would like to see where that all leads? In the meantime I’m just going to keep writing. I’m sure we will pop up at the odd festival in 2020.
You're heading to play an acoustic set and then DJ set at Common People Norwich at Open on October 19. What can people expect?
My acoustic set at the moment.
I play a few Dodgy hits and a couple of rarer tracks, one or two new songs I’ve been writing. A couple off my 1st solo album and the odd cover. I will sing all the above with the accompaniment of my acoustic guitar.
To give us a taste, what's the one song people can expect to hear you play and the one song people can expect to hear you DJ?
I’m going to go with a La’s track “Feeling” or the Real People “The Truth” both pioneers of the Brit Pop sound IMO.
Any particular memories of playing Norwich over the years - good or bad?
All good, I have a great memory of our 1st gig at The Waterfront. We stood onstage behind a curtain, we were ready, the 1st chords of andy playing “stand by yourself” the curtain fell and the audience went fucking crazy, the loudest audience ever. How could you forget that?
£12 for tickets to both the acoustic set and Common People - Doors 8pm or £10 for tickets for just Common People 6 - Doors open at 9pm until 2am.