King Hammond & The Rude Boy Mafia
Nick played his first professional (paid!) gig in July 1977 at The Roxy Club in London where his band The Dead shared a bill with Cocksparrer & Dead Fingers Talk. The same week he was pictured on the front of the Melody Maker under the headline "Teds Versus Punks"!
He appeared on several post punk singles between 1978-1980 including cult classics from Cuddly Toys & Steve Treatment. Nick began writing & recording as King Hammond in 1986 at the same time he was the bassist in Bad Manners & Busters All Stars. The first track Nick recorded as King Hammond was "Skaville UK" which was used as the theme music for the TV show "British Tribes". In 1989 Bad Manners covered "Skaville UK" & released it as a single. It was also featured on the bands "Return Of The Ugly" album alongside the hit single "This Is Ska" his 'Skacid' collaboration with producer Longsy D.
King Hammond's debut album "Revolution 70" was released on Bluebeat Records in 1989 to great critical acclaim & occasionally can be seen selling on E-Bay for a price of between £60-£80. Nick left Bad Manners in 1991 to join a reformed The Selecter who he stayed with for 15 years. In that period he produced 6 albums for the band as well as 2 for the offshoot Selecter Acoustic.
He formed Big 5 in 1992 with ex Belle Stars vocalist Jennie Matthias & over the next 5 years released the band releases 3 albums. The line up also featured John Bradbury (The Specials) who Nick describes as "the most exciting drummer I've ever had the privilege to play with". Trojan Records released "Blow Your Mind" a 25 track King Hammond compilation CD on their Receiver label in 1992. Nick has worked with & produced music for some of the legends of Ska & Reggae. Artists like Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Dave Barker, Susan Cadogan, Judge Dread & Rico Rodriguez . In 2003 Nick won a Grammy for his work on Lee 'Scratch' Perry's "Jamaican ET" album. He was also the M.D. (musical director) on the follow up "Alien Starman" (re released in 2015 as "Holiness Righteousness") & The Upsetter's live DVD "The Ultimate Alien".
Nick produced 2 albums "Cleaning In Another Woman's Kitchen" & "Back To The Garage" for 2-Tone era vocalist Rhoda Dakar (Bodysnatchers/Special AKA).
He has recorded music for films, TV & computer games. Nick has always said that one of the highlights of his musical career was when his track "Hey You" was used as WWE's Brian 'Spanky' Kendrick's theme song!
Nick was an original member of the 'acoustic supergroup' 3 Men & Black alongside Jake Burns (SLF), J.J. Burnel (The Stranglers), Bruce Foxton (The Jam) & Pauline Black (The Selecter) producing the outfits only album "Acoustic". After 15 years in The Selecter Nick left in 2006 to form his own band Skaville UK who have to date released 4 albums. Although the band are currently on a skabbatical! there are plans to release new S.U.K. material in the future. In 2010 Nick decided to resurrect his King Hammond persona by writing, recording & releasing "The King & I" the first new King Hammond record in 21 years! Since then he has issued 8 King Hammond albums (over 90 new songs!) on his own label & has taken the King Hammond live show to (amongst others) America, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Germany & of course the UK.
Nick is passionately involved with 'Specialized' an organisation who raise money & awareness for The Teenage Cancer Trust. In 2014 he joined up with Jake Burns (SLF) & Roddy Radiation (The Specials) to record a single "Get Specialized! (A Rock & Roll Prayer)" produced by Grammy award winning producer Roger Lomas. "The Outsider... & Other Friends Of Mine" is the latest King Hammond released on the Jekyll Jive label. Nick describes it as "The best King Hammond album ever you can dance to it & it tells the truth". "The Life & Times Of A Ska Man" is the name of the one man show he has been touring around the UK since 2009. There is also an album of the same name that has received great reviews in the music press.
In 2016 Nick's autobiography "The Life & Times Of A Ska Man... An Offbeat Memoir" will be released through Newhaven Publishing.