Bunch Of Fives: Jodie Nicholson | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ahead of her debut headline tour in February 2022, which includes performances at The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on 5th February and The Cluny, Newcastle on 12th February, Hurworth-on-Tees solo artist Jodie Nicholson shares a hauntingly beautiful rendition of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. The track is taken from an upcoming EP, Live at The Old Church Studio (released on 28th January), with each song recorded live in one-take and accompanied by a stunning video filmed by Jodie Canwell at The Old Church Studio in Northumberland.

Here, Jodie Nicholson tells about her top five albums that she listened to growing up…

I have really fond memories of listening to each of these albums with my parents growing up. In some way, whether I realised it at the time or not, they shaped a lot of what I really appreciate in music and songwriting now, whenever I listen. 

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon 
A classic. This was always a favourite to listen to in the car. I have really funny memories of my sister and I sitting in the back, trying to emulate the bonkers intro to Time (a load of clock noises). I’ve always loved this album for its atmospheric, powerful intros, the seamless blending of one track to another, the unusual song structure and its use of speech samples and every-day kinda sounds that built a story around each track. This album, for me, is the ultimate example of how to do an album well, with all the bells and whistles. 

Roger Waters – In the Flesh – Live 
Technically, my memory of this is mostly based on the DVD that came with the album, where you could watch the concert in full. My dad and I watched quite a few live concert DVDs and, especially with this one, I’d sit right up close to the TV, totally fascinated by the on-stage production. This album is more-or-less all the Pink Floyd classics, but with so much more. There’s something about ‘Miracle’, Amused to Death, Shine on You Crazy Diamond and Dogs that really stuck with me. Each song began so simple and then it’d morph and shift along the way into something really powerful with lush backing vocals, rich synths and soaring guitars. If listening to/watching this taught me anything about music and songwriting, it’s how much backing vocals can really shape a song and bring magic to so many moments. 

Tori Amos – Scarlet’s Hidden Treasures 
Both my parents love Tori Amos. I don’t really know her work well at all, mainly this EP and her cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit (a joy to behold if you’ve never seen/listened to it). Every single song on this EP is really special in its own way, they’re all favourites. It was probably one of the first instances where I really noticed an artist exploring different genres within their own music, going from very emotive, intricate piano to something maybe more jazz influenced with a live-band feel. The way Amos plays piano always felt inspirational to me (and still does). I’d love to play the way she plays. When I was younger I’d sit at the piano and try to learn her songs to understand her chords and the lyrics she’s singing. I kinda love how she has an unusual pronunciation with certain words, it makes you focus on the melody and feeling. 

Tom Waits – Mule Variations 
My dad loves Tom Waits. When I was a teen, he used to get really excited showing me specific songs on this album in the kitchen and (at the time) I’d stand there bewildered by the gravel and lowness in his very distinctive voice. This isn’t an album I know very well, but the song that will

always stick with me is Take It With Me for its rawness and imperfectly-perfect beauty. Now I know the song well and appreciate its stillness, it makes me cry pretty much every time I listen to it. 

Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters 
Another album we had in the car that my mum used to love playing. It’s funky, outside-of-the-box pop, with the soulful, little gem of Mary that sits in there breaking up the bangers. Plus, their version of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb blew my mind, as it’s very different, yet still, so brilliant. This album is so varied and introduced me to loads of new, interesting sounds with its synth-heavy backings. I don’t know if this necessarily inspired me or filtered through to the music I write now, but it’s something I loved listening to growing up and still dip into when I’m in need of a pick-me-up.

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