ARTYFACTS: Day 14: Nick Kent

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 14: Nick Kent

Having witnessed the drug banalities of John Harris and John Niven yesterday, I feared the worst with a second music journalist today. Fear not, Nick Kent was on a roll. He’s likeable, articulate and knows how to tell a tale.

There was the usual hagiographic description of Keith Richards (exaggerated methinks) but funny. I look forward to the biography coming out later this year. He was incisive on Iggy Pop (complex man) explaining that he was at times rather nasty, middle-class boy, who likes the American Dream (hence the ads). ‘Raw Power’ is still his favourite album. Malcolm Maclaren was ‘and interesting bunch of guys’, but fundamentally an unpleasant egomaniac. Interesting take on the Sex Pistols, as 'thugs'. But there was the honesty and tenderness of a man looking back at his life, his lucky breaks, his loves, his friends. Came across as a nice guy. It would be interesting to get someone who knows him well to give us an opinion, someone other than the bitter blimp that is Julie Burchill.

His final observations about contemporary music were worth hearing – gadget driven, with no shared sensibility, an industry redefined by the internet. But there was a note of optimism around the creativity that the technology offered artists. His point about music journalism having become the ‘nostalgia’ industry, was apposite (he I suppose is an example). When the lights went up he gasped, “Fuck me, there’s a lot of people here!”


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