Leaving Normal: Swell Maps’ Nikki Sudden
Heard this sad news from BigO just now, Swell Maps main man Nikki Sudden has died after playing a gig at the Knitting Factory, New York. His brother, Epic Soundstracks died in 1996. Both were the main engine for post-punk pioneers Swell Maps.
news of death:
“Nikki Sudden, Punk Rocker, Dies at 49
Nikki Sudden, a pioneer of the English rock avant-garde known for his velvet jackets and larger-than-life panache, died on Sunday, a day after performing at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan. He was 49.” ‚Äì New York Times
go here to hear his performance at WFMU Radio last Monday.
listen and downloads some of his songs: NikkiSudden@MySpaceand secretlycanadian.com
Download a full album! at BigO
Swell Maps video clip, “Midget Submarine”
(let it all load first and then replay!)
“The legend of Nikki Sudden started with glam rock‚Äôs ascent in Britain in the early 1970s. London lad Nicholas Godfrey, enamored with T.Rex, the New York Dolls and the Rolling Stones, took up the guitar, rechristened himself with a more apropos rock moniker and along with his brother‚Äîreborn Epic Soundtracks‚Äîon piano and drums started Swell Maps. The duo stabbed their unique take on bedsit glam bombast largely behind closed doors for almost four years before a Sex Pistols performance in 1976 impressed them to take greater action.
The Swell Maps‚Äô noisy, shambolic attack squarely fused hypnotic psychedelia with jagged guitars and panicked vocals, and evidenced the artier sides that punk could cross into. It remains a totem of the D.I.Y. aesthetic as well as the more relevant than ever ‚Äúpost punk‚Äù sound.
Upon hearing the band‚Äôs initial offering, a 1978 self-released single called ‚ÄúRead About Seymour‚Äù on influential DJ John Peel‚Äôs BBC1 program, fledgling label owner Geoff Travis insisted on putting out the Swell Map‚Äôs debut album, A Trip To Marineville as Rough Trade Records‚Äô second release.
The album was a breakthrough in many ways. Aside from it‚Äôs artistic merits, the record helped to keep afloat the label that would later introduce the world to The Smiths, Violent Femmes, and The Strokes, to name but a small few. The band made another album, the brash Jane from Occupied Europe, and a few more singles before calling it quits in 1980. The members would continue to collaborate, particularly brothers Sudden and Soundtracks (until the latter‚Äôs untimely death in 1996.)”
from: ArtVoice.com, go there and read more + an interview with Nikki Sudden
Official Site: nikkisudden.com