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Interview with Nick Bayes: Bassist from Headsticks, Tom Seals and Chloe Chadwick! 5 Quick Questions

Well, I have no recollection of first meeting Nick.  It would've been the very early 1990's and it probably would've involved lots of beer (if you remember the 90s, you weren't there, eh?).  Chances are it was at one of his gigs with legendary Crewe Folk-Punk band Tower Struck Down, who got the local and national dirty clubs jigging from the eighties and throughout the nineties.  He's a bloody marvellous bass player and I'm stoked to see him still performing after all these years.  He's certainly got a few stories to tell of the road and his time supporting bands like The Buzzcocks, New Model Army, Big Country, and Mark Radcliff, to name a few.  His touring career has taken him wide and far, throughout Europe and even as far as Hong Kong.  He has played festivals like Glastonbury, Rebellion and Edinburgh Fringe.  If Covid hadn't have stuck, he would be about to pack his bass and head to New York for his debut on American soil!   Nick answered my lockdown special 5 Quick Questions.  Here's what happened!

Nick Bayes.  Photo by Simon J Newbury
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1. Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Nick Bayes.  I'm a freelance bass player and have been playing and performing for almost 40 years.
I play predominantly electric bass, but do occasionally play double and acoustic basses.
My main gigs are as the international touring bassist with folk-punk band Headsticks, boogie-woogie pianist Tom Seals and Country artist Chloë Chadwick.  I also do session work, both in the studio and live.
As part of my business, I also run the gig guide website and manage DJ Lady Sazo.

2. Who or what inspires you?

I'm constantly inspired by the opportunity that my job gives me to play new and challenging music, and to work with some really incredible musicians.  I love the travel and always enjoy new venues, especially overseas.  The joy of bringing a smile to the faces of the audience is always a real pleasure.

3. What challenges do you face?

Typically, I don't have any sort of career plan or strategy.  I've been very lucky that I've always had a demand for my services.  Obviously in recent weeks all of my work has essentially flatlined due to COVID19 and I worry that live music may take some time to recover.  Frustratingly, this crisis cost me my debut gig in NYC and my return to play at Glastonbury Festival for the first time since 1993!   Hopefully these opportunities will come again.
As with a lot of musicians, I have been working online, whilst social distancing, and this has meant overcoming some technical challenges to allow remote recording for session work

4. What has been the highlight of your career so far? 

So many shows over the years, but I guess my first 'name' support to Kirsty MacColl in 1992 with Tower Struck Down, and more recently Headsticks at Bearded Theory Festival last year and our recent dates with New Model Army.
Also, with Tom Seals, our tour in Hong Kong, selling out Ronnie Scott's and all of the European dates over the last few years.

5.  What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Really, just to keep on keeping on.  I love my job and I'm at my happiest on a big stage with a big crowd. It'd be great if the NYC gig and Glastonbury got rebooked, but really, I just want to get back to performing and to keep playing for as long as my fingers will let me!

Find out more about Nick, Crewe Gigs and his band Headsticks:

My website is
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Nick and his band Folk-Punk Legends Headsticks