Never The Bride’s Nikki Lamborn has been described as Tina Turner’s and Robert Plant’s love child.
She’ll settle for that.
“It’s quite a compliment!” says Nikki who brings her band to the Festival of Chichester for a date at the Chichester Inn in West Street, Chichester on Saturday, June 27 at 8pm.
“We are on our ninth album. We have been around forever – and still nobody knows about us. But once people get to hear us, they usually stick with us! For the first time ever, we have done an album of covers. Being an originals bands, it is hard work trying to get a gig. People will say ‘Well, we don’t know you.’ And then when they know our stuff, they come back. But it is getting them there in the first place, which is why we did the album of covers, including things like Sympathy for the Devil, Feel Like Making Love and Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood. We have done all versions of our own that we can give to people and to festivals so that we can offer something familiar that people will want to listen to. And then we can do three or four covers and then do our own stuff.”
They’ve already got friends in high places. On previous trips to Chichester they supported Chrissie Hynde and also supported Status Quo. They have even managed to bring themselves to the attention of Dame Shirley Bassey.
“I am quite a Shirley Bassey fan. My parents brought me up on Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald. My dad was also into Glenn Miller, and he was also into Shirley Bassey, and I used to take her off, just for fun.”
Nikki wrote a song that sounded like it ought to be a James Bond song and joked how amazing it would be if it made its way to Bassey.
“We did a gig for a guy in Monte Carlo, and it turned out Miss Bassey frequented the gym there. We got some hotel paper and wrote a little note and stuck a CD in there with the track on, and we gave it to the concierge and asked him to give it to her. He said he couldn’t promise, that there were four concierges and that they were all doing different shifts, but he said he would try. We went home and forgot all about it, and then about a month later, we had an email from the Bassey office saying she loved the song and she wanted to record it. We produced the track. It was so fabulous. She was absolutely great. We ended up producing her whole album! It just goes to show! It was great. We were thinking ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ She can only say no or just not reply. But it all worked out. The first time she sang it live was at the Royal Variety performance to the Queen! Shirley Bassey is slowing right down now. We were so lucky. She hadn’t done a recording for ten years when she recorded our song.”
The result was a hit single and a hit album – a result all round: “We are now stalking Grace Jones at the moment. We have got a song that we are trying to pass on to her…”
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