A collection of nine songwriters and storytellers, Nel Unlit have gained a terrific reputation for both compelling live shows and well-crafted song composition. Raring to return to the live arena, their November appearance at Stockton’s Georgian Theatre is one well watch out for. Damian Robinson caught up with one ninth of the band, Jon, to find out more.
nice that someone is trying to lift the 2020 spirits as Nel do when they play live. Are you as excited for the show as we are?
We can’t wait! In the early days, the thought of shows was headache, to the extent that we considered being just a recording project but once we got in a room together, all that melted away! It was such great fun. From then, we tried to change our recording process to try to reflect our live sound rather than the other way round. We never feel more ourselves than when we are playing a show. The Georgian is one of our favourite venues, so it’s shaping up to be a special night!
With Nel being a large, hugely collaborative, live outfit, can you tell us what to expect from Nel in terms of their live show?
We put a lot of thought into how we arrange a live show. Short of a dance routine everything is thoroughly planned and rehearsed. People have paid to see us and we feel we owe them that. For this show, we are very excited to be debuting several songs that will be coming on our next album!
Have restrictions impacted Nel’s sound in any way in terms of instrumentation or production?
It’s not impacted the songs themselves. The timbre of the songs is dictated by their content and message. We have had to be creative with the way we rehearse and write though. We’ve written most of the next record remotely, meeting occasionally when it’s been allowed. This has obvious drawbacks but at times it has allowed the more withdrawn of us to spend time alone with the songs.
Aside from the gig are there any other plans for the band, or any of its members, we can look forward to?
We are releasing the final single from our debut album to coincide with the show. It’ll feature our cover of our label mates Ceiling Demons’ “The Rose”. We are a community of songwriters and storytellers, so we’ve all got numerous things going on. Ben has created a beautiful solo Christmas album which will come out in December on our label, Darlington’s finest Butterfly Effect. Harriet also has her heartbreaking second single “Yourself and no-one else”. Both will be performing solo sets at the Georgian show! Lots else going on but it’s all top secret!
Nel Unlit are playing Stockton’s Georgian Theatre on Sat 7th November.