One year ago Bristol musician Gravenhurst was on the front cover of this magazine.
It was cold and dark. I remember picking up the magazine in December 2014 thinking to myself, how on earth has BLM managed to get Nick on their front cover just days after he passed away? I’ll be honest, it was disconcerting seeing him on the cover, so full of life.
But of course, Nick wasn’t on the front cover because he’d passed away. He wasn’t on the front cover because friends, family and fans were mourning their loss. No, Nick was on the front cover because he was performing live. He was making beautiful, exciting and relevant music. Gravenhurst was on the front cover of Bristol Live Magazine because he was a vital organ in the body of Bristol music.
This month, BBC Introducing in the West and the wider Bristol music community marked 12 months since Nick Talbot’s death. Richard Pitt, friend of Nick’s and colleague of mine at the BBC, presented a beautifully-crafted, caring and thought-provoking hour of radio on BBC Radio Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, celebrating Nick’s life and work. The programme featured contributions from BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Gideon Coe, as well as musicians, journalists and friends. We all remember Nick.
The last time I saw Gravenhurst he was onstage doing the thing he loved, in a city he loved, with a group of people who loved him so much. Working on this programme for BBC Introducing, I was struck by how deeply ingrained Nick was in Bristol. More than even I had thought. Bristol wouldn’t be the same without his music and his music wouldn’t be the same without Bristol. One year on, two years, five years, decades… the words and music of Gravenhurst will always mean something in Bristol. He’s part of us and we are part of him.
“When I think of you
I stop and turn the hourglass again
The past is a strange place
But I want it back
And I just won’t wait”
(Hourglass, by Gravenhurst)
Listen to the stunning ‘Hourglass’ right here: