Creative Kōrero, Music

Ken Nicol – The Jam Factory: Press Release


Musician KEN NICOL is traveling 12,000 miles for a homecoming.

The United Kingdom-based singer, songwriter and guitarist is returning to New Zealand – the land of his father.

Half-Kiwi Ken has performed with many of the biggest names in British folk and folk-rock, including Steeleye Span, The Albion Band and Fairport Convention, as well as having a recording career that covers 40 years and well over 50 albums. Now, as part of a New Zealand mini-tour, he will be performing in Tauranga at The Incubator on Friday 4th October 2019.

“Growing up listening to my Father’s stories of this far away land, it’s hard to believe I’d have to wait almost fifty three years before having the opportunity to visit for myself. And though I was there for only for twenty four hours (a concert at the Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland), there was a strong sense of connection. I felt that the journey had only just begun, and I’d be returning very soon indeed.”

Renowned for his super-fluid fingerpicking acoustic guitar technique, Ken also plays electric guitar, steel resonator guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin and ukulele. He will be delighting New Zealand audiences with music drawn from throughout his career, ranging from mesmerisingly fast instrumentals to heart-stoppingly beautiful ballads and even some comedy numbers.

In 1996, Ken began working with Ashley Hutchings – the man who founded British folk-rock giants Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and The Albion Band. After recording four albums with The Albion Band and continuing to record and release his own solo albums, Ken joined legendary folk-rockers Steeleye Span in 2002, touring the world and recording a further four albums with the band.

It was after a 2009 tour with Steeleye Span which took him to Australia that Ken first ventured to New Zealand, playing a string of solo performances which began in Perth and visited both North and South Islands. Ken also took a motorhome tour vacation of the country, and knew then that he wanted to return.

“A few years ago after a series of Steeleye Span concerts in Australia, there was a three week gap in my schedule, and the chance to spend some quality time in New Zealand, traveling not only as a tourist, but also as a musician. 

The experience of visiting relatives; witnessing the country’s breathtaking views; the clubs and festivals I performed; making so many new friends, and especially, acquainting myself with my Father’s home city, Dunedin; was meaningful to such a point that I struggle to find the adjectives.”

Ken Nicol appears at The Incubator, Tauranga, on Friday 4th October, along with very special guest Emily Macklow. Start: 7pm.
For more info:   Tel: 07 5713232




“Formidable and painstakingly acquired skills on both acoustic and electric guitars, a very high class player indeed.” Martin Carthy

Ken has such a great way of delivering a story and gently laying down the punch line. Humour, great guitar skill and the right drop of humility, and a passion for right, proper, good music.” Ralph McTell

“Ken Nicol is a consummate musician. A guitarist of broad scope, a sensitive singer and an intelligent writer of songs with stirring melodies. A musical paragon.” Maddy Prior



Acoustic Magazine: “The musicianship is staggering, seldom are the compositions less than inspired.”

Living Tradition: “KN at his best – roller coasters of musical virtuosity that spellbind . . .”

Stirrings: “Ken plays with great virtuosity and sensitivity, and recording and production values are excellent. Recommended.”

Net Rhythms: “A brilliant sequence of ten finely-etched and well-contrasted instrumental pieces . . . a CD that will be a must for guitar aficionados, but its appeal is definitely more wide-ranging; there’s intelligent and beautiful music here to suit all moods and tastes. A lovely record.”

Record Collector: “Guitar players will appreciate his masterclass style, while more general listeners will be aware that his gift for melody carries the album higher than the rest.”

Creative Kōrero, Music

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