RAISED ON REAL GOLDEN OLDIE ROCK'N'ROLL, NIC ARMSTRONG HAS THE VOICE, THE SONGS AND, AFTER A STROKE OF LUCK, THE BACKING HE NEEDS TO FOLLOW IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HIS 50S JUKE BOX HEROES.
Nic Armstrong arrived through the post. While working in a series of spirit depleting menial jobs, his girlfriend persuaded him to send a demo to last year's Dazed Re:creation competition. The songs were only captured in rough, but the Merseybeat breathless strum and a throat that sounded like it had been shredded by the fog that once rolled off the Cast Iron Shore, impressed enough at the magazine to pass the tape on to our record company associates. Once Nic had bought more credit for his mobile there was a message for him from One Little Indian.
"It was an amazing time," he understates over a Stella in The Old Angel in Nottingham. "Within a week I was down at the record company and soon after that I was recording the album at Toe Rag."
The Greatest White Liar, his forthcoming debut album was set down in three weeks at the high altar of analog with Liam Watson playing guitar and handling production. Preceded by a single in November, "Natural Flair", his style reins in the pretentious Pepperisms of late 60s beat for an unaltered state of dancehalls, late night shenanigans and crossing the room when your heart goes boom.
"I don't wish to complicate things. You can consider things over a cup of tea if you like. I know there are some dark moments in my songs, but overall I want people to have a good time and get drunk. I grew up listening to Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochrane and fun was the key, not chin-stroking."
Covering Alvin Robinson's filth-ridden slice of rhythm and blues "Down Home Girl" on the B side demonstrates Tennessee devotion too, like an early Captain Beefheart. Ready, Steady, Go? Safe as milk.
Text Will Jenkins Photography Valerie Stahl