Nick Page (1960-2021)

Nick Page, photographed by York Tillyer.

The world seems emptier today. A great artist, a great man and a great friend of ours passed away yesterday, Count Dubulah himself, Nick Page.

I first came across Nick with Transglobal Underground who were throwing all sorts of musical influences into an extraordinary musical mix. There was also a version of ‘Tongue of Flame’ that Nick shaped for Natacha Atlas that haunted and inspired me for ages. We were lucky enough to do a few gigs with Transglobal and saw how the music came to life live.

Nick began his collaboration with Real World Records, alongside Neil Sparkes as the Temple of Sound, producing People’s Colony No 1 with Rizwan-Muazzam Qawwali. This was followed by the Mexican band Los de Abajo — recording in the Big Room with much consumption of tequila (naturally!)

During his work creating the much-loved Ethiopian project Dub Colossus, he also found the wonderful young pianist Samuel Yirga whose career he largely launched.

Nick was always full of ideas and enthusiasms and would create an abundance of interesting projects and passions, later with his musical partner Bernard O’Neill. When Syria symbolised much of what was wrong with the world Nick had already found real joy in their music and produced and created a landmark album The Road To Damascus. With Xaos he explored his mother’s Greek roots in another fascinating piece and like all his projects he did so with warmth, a generous musicality and a really original intelligence.

I kept in touch with Nick in recent years and always enjoyed our exchanges. He faced all his challenges with real grace and good humour and the last I had heard he seemed in a great place physically and emotionally. It was a real shock to learn he had been taken into hospital.

With all the magical mixes he turned his hand to, Nick carved a unique and well-deserved spot for himself in the British music scene. He touched so many lives with his extraordinary talent and extraordinarily big heart. Thank you so much.

– Peter Gabriel

Nick Page (6 November 1960 – 11 May 2021)