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Biography Continued

4 Decades

Born in the Black Country in the 1950’s NMJ has been playing guitar since 1962 “I made a guitar from firewood when I was 10 years old. I got a real one when I was twelve. I enjoyed stories, poetry and writing – songs came later. In the sixties I worked part time at Dudley Zoo in the grounds of the castle that dominated the skyline. It was a inspiring place for a teenager stuck in a brutal industrial area”  

At 15 he began performing at the Crypt Folk Club in Dudley where in 1966 he met Dan Fone who showed him the finger style guitar playing that he would eventually make his own.  Dan, still active today, is a fine acoustic and blues guitarist who recorded with the likes of Clifford T. Ward, Alex Campbell and Bronco.

By the age of 17 Nigel was playing with Rob Lloyd a local musician with a reputation for fluid inventive licks on a Fender Telecaster. Many hours were spent huddled over guitars and the duo performed all across the Midlands and beyond also appearing as residents at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre late night acoustic shows. Nigel also briefly performed with local guitarist Dave Titley and bass player Alan Appleby in the acoustic bands Mosaic and Prince Heathen

In 1969 he moved to the Channel Islands working with the great apes for the conservationist and writer Gerald Durrell. Studying animal behaviour and that of the onlookers he realised that true conservation required a shift in human attitudes and following his love for natural landscapes he eventually settled near the north coast of Cornwall where he still lives.

The influences and ideas of conservation profoundly affected Nigel’s world-view and his music “Those who spoke up in those early days were often ridiculed. We children of the 1950s were haunted by nuclear fears and time has proven that those fears were not groundless. Genetic manipulation and fracking are Pandora’s Box’s and many are obsessed with power, consumption and profit. The Planet gives the raw materials and we give nothing but garbage back. All answers to our survival lie in nature yet we abuse and destroy it. These issues have not improved in my brief lifetime and continue to influence my thinking” 


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