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Long Road For Black Nielson

Long Road For Black Nielson

Who: Black Nielson
Where: The Cambridge Hotel
When: Saturday June 25, 2005

FOR a group of budding musicians, Southampton is not an ideal place to start.

Just ask Andy Reaney, bass player in British outfit Black Nielson. ``Basically, it's the arse-end of England,'' Reaney laughed.

``There's not much of a music scene whatsoever. Not many bands come from this area and make any significant impact.

``There has been a couple of bands over the last few years but apart from that it's a bit of a cultural dead end.'' Despite the fact the town has only one venue that caters for original live music, Black Nielson has managed to establish a name for itself among the countless other independent bands in the UK.

Led by principal songwriter Michael Gale, Black Nielson's style of ambient rock gained airplay from the late and influential DJ John Peel and had glowing reviews in NME, Mojo and London's The Independent. The five-piece has embarked on its first tour outside Europe, working its way around Australia on a nine-date tour that will include the Cambridge Hotel on Saturday night.

The opportunity came about when the band struck a deal to release its new album, Current Sunlight, in Australia.

As the band is scouting for a new deal in the UK after splitting from its last label, Australians are the first to hear it.

``It's a bit weird to tell people it's coming out in Australia but not in the UK,'' Reaney said.

``You get some funny looks but we just tell them that it will hopefully be out by the end of the year.'' Current Sunlight was recorded last year over three weeks but the band had to wait six months before it raised enough money to have the album mixed.

``It's a lot of hard work,'' Reaney said.

``We try and get out touring as much as we can but being independent and not having much money can make it quite difficult in the UK.'' Despite the recent hardships, Reaney was excited about the Australian tour.

He has even made a few travel plans.

``I want to go to the Neighbours set,'' Reaney said.

``I'm sure there's a lot more to Melbourne than the Neighbours set but you've got to start with what you know.''

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