Each week, Keep Colchester Cool invites local faces to provide us with their top ten tracks of all time. There are no rules, some will explain why they’ve chosen particular tracks; other’s won’t. Either way, it promises to provide an insight into what has influenced some of our local heroes over the years.

This week, it’s the turn of Nel, one of Colchester’s most recognised musicians, known across the world for his time in New Model Army, and now gigging regularly with the bands he’s in at the moment; Surfquake, Park and Ride, Martin Newell and the Hosepipe Band, and Strum ‘n’ Bass. In the past there’s been The Brotherhood of Lizards and Cleaners from Venus (both with Martin Newell), Thud and Blunder, The Hiding Place, 3 Times a Day, Swimming in the Sea, Ady Johnson’s band, Churchfitters, KiP KEiNO and others!

Incidentally, if you want to catch up with Surfquake, they are playing in The Soundhouse at The Bull on Friday 2nd October.

Here are Nel’s Top Ten Tracks (at this moment in time – in no particular order). Enjoy!

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Third Stone From The Sun
One of the best intros ever and then you get that groovy bassline for the guitar melody to drift over – with some nonsense lyrics – shame Jimi disses surf music though, but i’m sure he’s referring to bands like the namby pamby Beach Boys and not the likes of Dick Dale & Nokie Edwards.

The Velvet Underground – Venus In Furs
One of the first songs I learnt to play. Atmospheric, Hypnotic, screechy, & slightly rude.

The Kills – Future Starts Slow
Thought i’d better include something a bit more up to date. I was going to include something by Jack White but decided on this. I like the guitar motif – it’s just 2 notes but so effective.

Dick Dale and his Del-Tones – Misirlou
1st heard this in the 80s and again when Pulp Fiction hit the screens and that’s when I decided i wanted to play Surf Guitar.

Davie Allan and the Arrows – Make Love Not War
While touring the States with New Model Army I met a guy called Tim, who works for Sundazed Records. He gave us loads of CDs to help keep us entertained while driving between gigs. Davie Allan’s ‘Cycle-breed’ was one of them – this is my favourite track – it sounds great when you’re driving through the desert.

Deep Purple – Fireball
Double Bass drums – Roger Glover spits out a cool bendy note bass solo that sets up Jon Lords Tremolo Organ part (ooh err) perfectly – and just when you think it’s all over a tambourine unexpectedly comes in. Genius.

PJ Harvey – Sheela-Na-Gig
The first song by Polly i heard – i’ve been hooked ever since. I never knew what a Sheela-na-gig was – i did some research – now i have a few ornaments dotted around the house.

Sonic Youth – Kool Thing
Hard to choose my favourite Sonic Youth track – i’ve got everything they’ve released.
Just dropped the pin on this one. Kim Gordon is in my Top Ten fave bass players.

Led Zeppelin – Since I’ve Been Loving You
When i started playing guitar I bought the Led Zeppelin Complete Music Book and spent hours and hours trying to play like Jimmy Page. When he switches guitar pick-ups from neck to bridge in the first solo on this track – phew wee!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tUHmHaa2Mg

Neil Young – Cortez the Killer
Guitar tone to die for – sometimes a simple chord progression is all you need. A really long guitar solo at the beginning of the song – well, when you’re Neil Young you can do stuff like that. Again, a great track to play while drivin’ through big open spaces.

Is that 10 ? – Boo 🙁 no room for Patti Smith.


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