Ben Nicholls

Ben is a singer, songwriter, double bass player and multi-instrumentalist whose work crosses many genres. He has performed and recorded in studios and stages across the world, from The Royal Albert Hall, Glastonbury Festival, RFH Meltdown to Womad New Zealand, jazz clubs in Singapore and universities in Libya.

Ben is a founding member of the band Kings of The South Seas, Dennis Hopper Choppers and Menlo Park, tours with the Seth Lakeman band, and is also known for his work with the Full English band. He was a co-writer on the Mercury Music Prize nominated Nadine Shah album Holiday Destination, and his work has been featured on many TV shows, films and adverts.

"At our first meet up for the project there was much debate about fairies, their history, who’d actually met one, their meaning and significance in people’s lives, and one of the things I became interested in was the origin of these stories. Many seem to drift back in time and can’t be pinned to a specific source, some are related to a specific location, activity or natural phenomenon, but their exact origins are lost. When I got home, I thought the best place to start, as a musician, might be to do an internet search on “fairy music” and see what appeared. This led to my discovery of the gremlins in the aircrafts of WWII, and true story of fairy enthusiast Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding. These fairies, from a very specific time and place, were (relatively) modern fairies."

Ben has collaborated musically on many of the pieces created for this project, but his primary focus as a songwriter has been on Hugh Dowding, re-telling his story with a blend of music, drama, and spoken word.

This led him to reflect on folk tale accounts of warfare within the fairy realm – where various courts and kinds of fairies fight over issues of land, power, livestock, and treasure. Could human war and fairy war be linked in the saga he was creating? And if so, what might the leaders of each of these battles have in common?

Related posts

Artist of the Week - Ben Nicholls, 8 January 2019