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The Nile Delta Buskers


The Nile Delta Buskers

The Nile Delta Buskers were formed from the ashes of Bike Rally favourites ‘Men In Frocks’. Tom Lord (guitar) and Andy Parkinson (drums) had formed a pretty tight friendship over their 10 years or so playing together and the last incarnation of the band included Andy’s old rythym section partner from the Stormin’ Normans, Bruce Hartley on bass. That last incarnation also featured Giles Minkley on Hammond and piano and thus, the backbone of something very different was formed.

Searching for a more soulful approach, the as yet un‐named band honed in on a shared love of what many people refer to as the ‘golden age’ of popular music. In particular, the mid 1960’s to the early 1970’s. A period before genre seemed to matter, where motown, rock, soul and blues were played side by side and London showed the world the way. To paraphrase Miles Davis: ‘Good music is good, no matter what kind of music it is.’

Although heavily influenced by this era, the fledgling band sought out Artists that had carried this era forwards. Whilst off the road, Andy, Bruce and Tom had built a recording studio c/w with a blu‐ray player, big screen and comfy sofa. And it was in the studio, where the band explored their musical direction, taking in live music DVDs like they were going out of fashion. Wonderful gigs like Jeff Beck at Ronnie Scott’s, Soulive, the Eagles at Melbourne, the Crossroads Guitar Festivals and practically everything by the Black Crowes.

“We travelled down to London a fair bit too, taking in touring acts and being amazed by the amount of people that were into the same kind of thing. Almost as if people were searching for something real, filling the emptiness created by the modern pop music machine – where artist development, stagecraft, song‐ writing and musicianship are all fast‐tracked in favour of a ‘famous for fifteen minutes’ approach.”

We completed the line up soon after that, Nige Thompson was an old friend and former guitar partner of Tom’s in ‘Maverick’ and brought a wealth of experience and a great contrast in style to Tom’s playing. And last but by no means least, Craig Blencowe came on board, recommended by Steve Castledine from The Stormin’ Normans. A naturally gifted, soulful singer, Craig had never been in a full electric band and had only a handful of gigs under his belt with his acoustic outfit ‘En Route’.

The band gravitated towards the newly built studio, rather than the rehearsal room ‐ As Tom explains: “I knew the band would sound massive, it was inevitable with two guitarists and a Hammond in the room! But I wanted this tempered with delicacy, I wanted headroom, to hear the whole thing breathe. I wanted each musician to be aware of all the little nuances that the others in the band were contributing and give each other the space around these. To deliver a powerful combined musical bedrock for Craig to soar over the top of, and I knew the place to put all that together was in the studio.”

Live rehearsals quickly followed and a strong cover set was honed ready for the road. They’d gained the confidence in the studio to take on some pretty big songs and Craig was settling in like an old hand. The back end of 2013 saw the band out on the road, playing Jam nights, Festival Spots, All‐Dayers and even a few acoustic appearances. By December 2013, they were ready for their first full‐set gig and were given a break by those nice chaps at the Pi Bar ‐ A wonderful night, with lots of friends of the band and new faces alike.

2014 sees them continuing where they left 2013, the aim being to gain a reputation as a quality live band in a format rarely seen nowadays. And whilst all this goes on, the original material starts to grow in the background, unheard and unseen, to be developed later this year. And then things hopefully start to get very interesting.

You can see The Nile Delta Buskers next gig in Leicester at The Donkey on Sunday 23rd February and they will also be at The Musician open mic night playing a short spot on February 10th.

Thank you to Tom Lord for helping to put this feature together.

To find out more about The Nile Delta Buskers visit their website or head over to their Facebook Page

Image courtesy of Rob Gurney at Digital Mechanic Photography

You can also see some of their performances on YouTube: