Nick Mulvey

by Shona Hickey

Exeter Phoenix

This autumn Nick Mulvey embarks on his eighteen-date ‘In Your Hands solo tour’. Formally a music and art student in Cuba and member of the Mercury Award nominated Portico Quartet, Mulvey has seen great success in his solo career. Since releasing his second album Wake Up Now in September of 2017, Mulvey has toured the UK as a trio and five-piece band. However, the solo leg of his journey promises to be a very different experience, visiting smaller towns and more intimate venues.

When announcing the tour online Mulvey promised “stripped back shows, bringing the music and the songs to you in their essence” and I am really interested to see how he translates his new album to an intimate show setting. Wake Up Now seems initially more suited to a band performance because of the track’s full and vibrant sound. Mulvey often discussed his album as a team project, one which involved lots of friends and artists creating together, so for bigger tracks on the album like Mountain to Move and Myela, which have such brilliant instrumental interaction and layered energy, a solo tour seems almost contradictory.

However, fans have requested stripped-down gigs and Mulvey is an intelligent artist who will use this opportunity to experiment with his new music. Some tracks which might have packed less of a punch on the album now have the chance of a new lease of life. I can imagine tracks like Imogen, with more delicate strumming and vocals really suiting such intimate performances.  On his new Dancing for Answers EP the track Punta Cometa, a live version of the title track, shows the flexibility of his material to create entirely new feelings from the same concepts. I think it will also be a great chance to revive some of Mulvey’s 2014 debut album First Mind, with guitar-led tracks like Fever to the Form and Venus being very suited to a solo tour.

It would also be a great opportunity for Mulvey to explain to audiences some of the concepts behind his songs because they are so intricately crafted as politically and socially aware pieces. His commentary of the new EP on Facebook demonstrates intense exploration of ideas surrounding social structures, energies, experimental forms and ancient stimuli. This solo tour will be a brilliant opportunity for audiences to really appreciate the intricacy and intelligence behind Mulvey’s music.