empty paintings EP cover artwork

Best known for being at the helm in Dodgy Nigel Clark was recording last year’s critically acclaimed Stand Upright in a Cool Place when the idea of new band Empty Paintings came about.

He teamed up with lyricist Colin Foreman and the collection of songs draw influence from many of the artists Nigel lists in his top ten here, with a quiet pastoral melancholy and undulating melodies.

 

Nigel Clark – top ten artists and albums

Lee Dorsey

I have been a big fan of lee for a long time now and never tire of his simplicity and sound. Produced by the great Allen Tousant and backed by The Meters this is the birth of funk/soul music.

In fact, you can hear a lot of my other two fave bands –  The Band and The Clash – in his music.

 

Television (Marquee Moon)

Marquee Moon. Could be released today and would still sound ahead of its time. Angular guitars, funky/ rock drums and spoken vocals.

The secret to this album is the guitar melodies and the tightness of the band. Not to forget the great sound a must for any journey.

 

Townes van Zandt

Probably the biggest influence on my songwriting since Bob Dylan and The clash. So many great songs to name but Waitin’ Around to Die, Marie and Black Widow Spider Blues fill the perfect gap for someone into Americana and country folk.

He writes songs with such depth with beauty and equal amounts of sadness and humour.

 

Elliot Smith

Totally original songwriter who wrote from the heart straight to the heart.

Perfectly woven melodies and personal lyrics depicting his life struggling with family relationships, drug addiction and the difficulties of success when your a shy individual.

From a Basement on the Hill, his last and posthumous album, is a work of genius.

 

Pretty Things

S F Sorrow was a psychedelic masterpiece recorded at Abbey Road in 1967 at Abbey Road studio but it’s the follow up Parachute that I think really hits the mark.

Less trippy than S F Sorrow more chilled out and a benchmark for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. It’s a classic rock album with grooves that would fit easily onto the Stone Roses’ album.

 

The Clash (Sandinista)

I got this album the week of its release (showing my age now)

I wanted a punk rock album but got a musical journey from hip hop, dub, rockabilly , folk and the rest? I wasnt sure being a 15 year old punk but 30 years on it still surprises and sounds great.

 

Probably a better musical/political reference point of the day than any old news reel or newspaper. always been a thing with me if I could be in one band it would’ve been the Clash or…

The Band

I watched the movie The Last Waltz in the mid ’90s and was totally blown away. Still the best live band film and probably will always be that way.

Documenting their rise from a young backing band (the Hawks) to Ronnie Hawkins, through backing Dylan on the famous 1966 electric tour to living in Woodstock and writing songs of their own.

With three great singers, five outstanding musicians they made some of the best music to come out of the late ’60s.

 

Leonard Cohen

The poet turned folk hero has had a lot to put up with of late. Now in his 80th year he still turns out great songs. His last album Old Ideas included some beauties.

After experiencing Leonard live at The Big Chill a few years back it felt like a religious experience – The Church of Leonard.

 

Love (Forever Changes)

Have listened to this album for so many years now and still never tire of it.

The music is allowed to flow like no other, crazy psychedelic lyrics with grooves and musicianship of near perfection. Perfect pop arrangements for ever.

 

Neil Young

I always have time for Neil Young. He has written and recorded so many great songs that it would be impossible to play them all live at a gig.

A total inspiration to so many music fans writers and listeners.I saw him play live this year with crazy horse and he blew everyone away. Not bad for a 70 year old.

Keep on rockin’!

 

You can hear music from Nigel’s band Empty Paintings here and the band are on Facebook or find Nigel on Twitter.

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