NICK HARPER - DOUBLE LIFE:
'The Galaxy Song' (Idle/duPrez) as performed by Eric Idle.
'Building Our Own Temple' (Harper) contains a small section of 'Mars' by Gustav Holst, a reference to 'Friends' by Led Zeppelin, two helpings of Black Steel (In the Hour of Chaos) by Public Enemy, healthy portions of 'Jungle Boogie' by Kool and the Gang and lashings of 'Don't Believe the Hype' by Public Enemy.
'Guitar Man (Whole Lotta Love Mix)' is a marriage of 'Guitar Man' as recorded by Elvis Presley and 'Whole Lotta Love' by Led Zeppelin.
'Out of It' (Harper) starts with two verses of 'Butcher' by Killing Joke, also 2 sections of 'Capital,it fails us now' by Gang of Four, also a section of 'To Hell With Poverty' by Gang of Four and all of this is chained together by a fair few lungfulls of 'Breathe' by Prodigy.
The Herald, Glasgow - May 2002 - Double Life (Quixotic) * * * * *
Over the past few years, "Harpic" has developed into, for my money, the finest live solo singer-guitarist on the planet. And here's the evidence: two CDs capturing his concert performances in all their prodigiously rocking, soulfully operatic, tenderly concerned, politically disaffected, waggishly witty, virtuosic magnificence.
Fans will delight in the habitual phasing of Holst, Public Enemy, Killing Joke, Kool and the Gang et al into his own intelligent, superbly melodic songs; the familiar covers of Monty Python (The Galaxy Song) and Elvis/Led Zeppelin (Guitar Man-Whole Lotta Love); and the inevitable broken guitar string replacements, twice carried out while he continues to sing like a linnet.
New listeners should prepare to be captivated by a colossal talent
Guitar Magazine - May 2002 - Double Life (Quixotic) * * *
Brilliantly impressive double CD of live performances from the British acoustic star. Great voice, astonishing playing... and, laudably, he does a Monty Python song as well as his own material.
Southern Reporter - 16 May 2002- Double Life (Quixotic)
As well as being a fantastic album, and I use the word in the literal as well as the descriptive sense, Double Life serves another function. Those who have seen him live can use it as a confirmation that they saw and heard what they thought they did. Those who havenít should use it as a sharp reminder not to miss him when the opportunity next arises.
Perhaps the easiest way to sum up Nick Harper is to call him a force of nature, the sheer weight of ideas in his music make him irresistible and unstoppable.
There is a trio of songs on disc 2 that for me show the myriad of facets to Harperís music. Building Our Own Temple is a near 10-minute explosion of guitar, Janet and John is Harper the writer with an unerring ability for the sideways look at life, all rounded off by the wonderfully poignant Crazy Boy, written for his father Roy. In it Harper lays open his feelings.
Lurking just outside this 'holy trinity' lies the Guitar Man (Whole Lotta Love Mix) the madcap, irreverent rocker kicking over the monoliths of the past.
Harper is one of those rare musicians that not only embrace musicís big picture but squeeze the last gasp of air out of it. The stunning Kilty Stone, the hilariously manic Galaxy Song from Monty Python, all come effortlessly to him. And the acerbic social conscience isnít far away, The Magnificent G7 shows that little or nothing escapes his pen or plectrum.
When all this is couched in a voice packed with honest emotion, and underpinned by a playing talent that at times is awe inspiring, Harper the performer is a fearsome weapon. And by the way all those effects you can hear, they are all him and all done live. Phenomenal? You bet your life.