For more information on each group, click the links to open external websites (in a new window)
Fiesta Resistance - salsa
Nick created this band in 2009. It is now a 7-piece comprising of Nick on drum kit/timbales/backing vocals, lead singer, congas, bass, piano and two trumpets. Fiesta Resistance play authentic Cuban salsa and Nick often arranges English pop hits into the salsa style. They are regulars at events around South Wales such as the International Food & Drink Festival, jazz festivals, party nights in clubs and dances.
Baron-Rose Duo - marimba
Nick created this chamber music duo in 2011 to spread the elegant beauty of the marimba. Wedding music which would normally be associated with string quartets or harps can often transfer neatly onto marimba, which has a soft attack and gentle decay just like a harp. The Duo established a niche in the musical world for themselves and have been steadily providing music for wedding ceremonies and receptions for nine years. The highlights so far have been playing in a castle crypt, meeting two live lions at an African event in Oxford, and playing for a wedding ceremony overlooking the Mediterranean at the Palais Bulles; a world-famous wonder of modern architecture.
Nick created this samba group in 2016 to play samba and bossa nova music. It features Nick on Brazilian percussion and guitar in the bossa novas, together with flute/percussionist, lead singer/percussionist, piano/percussionist and bass. The outstanding quality of the musicians involved results in a uniquely versatile group who can keep a groove building with their hand percussion skills while others play Latin jazz solos. In addition their Brazilian repertoire is rich and deep in harmony and rhythm.
The Bad Ambassadors - Divine Comedy tribute
This is perhaps the most whimsical and most fun of any group Nick has started. The Divine Comedy are cult 90s indie legends but their sound was famous for its expansive orchestral scoring. The Bad Ambassadors are a group of around fifteen musicians - rhythm section, lead singer, strings, brass and woodwind - who enjoy just getting together and recreating Neil Hannon's incredibly well-crafted pop music. Nick plays drum kit mainly, but fills in some guitar and keyboard parts too where necessary, as well as singing backing vocals.
Here Be Dragons - Welsh folk-rock
Nick joined this long-running Celtic 'thrash-folk' band in 2013 as drummer. Their lineup is drums and bass, giving a rock core feel, but complemented by the folky front line of fiddle, accordion and front-man (vocalist/guitar/banjo/mandolin). The experienced band are masters of stagecraft and their music is audience-centric; every setlist carefully designed to build audience energy and fun.
Blackhawk Big Band
No website exists for this group; they exist for the pleasure of recreating the finest compositions of the modern big band genre and socialising at rehearsals once a week. For Nick the band is the driving force in his development as a drummer; since joining as a founding member in 2007 he has had to sharpen up his timekeeping, idiomatic playing in a range of sub-genres (including the playing style needed for many charts from the band of Buddy Rich who has since grown to be Nick's drumming hero), and grooving in a range of time-signatures (such as Metheny's 'First Circle', alternating 12/8 and 10/8).
The Double Sharps - swing duo
A very long-running group consisting of Nick on swing rhythm guitar and childhood friend Richard Colquhoun (trumpetpla.net). Their background was busking around various Somerset towns in their teens and student days; their repertoire being the American Songbook standards from a tattered Real Book of Jazz. Nick's Django-esque 'pump' rhythm, stylistic harmony and meandering basslines are the complete accompaniment for Rich's lead playing which requires a lip of iron as he plays the heads and takes all the solos. In 2013 they recorded their second album and went on a busking tour of the UK. They have also played parties, wedding receptions and dances; sometimes bringing in additional musicians on bass and drums.
Uisge Contraband - ceilidh band
Nick joined this group originally as a bodhrán player but the scale of the dances grew and so the necessity grew for the bigger sound of the drum kit. The band are often busy with weddings, including some in breathtaking venues such as Caerphilly Castle, and also have regular Burns Night and charity dance events.