In the past he has been dubbed ‘the godfather of the Ibiza anthem’ but Chicane mastermind Nick Bracegirdle has come a long way since the sun drenched Balearic shores first throbbed to the sound of what is now recognized by many as the archetypal chill out classic ‘Offshore’.
‘Far From the Maddening Crowds’ was the debut album from Chicane when Nick first burst onto the scene back in 1997. Featuring ‘Offshore’, the album has since become unavailable and is now highly sought after.
Chicane was later cast further into the public consciousness in 1999 with the release of the epic ‘ Saltwater’ which featured Maire Brennan of Clannad. Then in 2000 with the number 1 smash hit ‘Don’t Give Up’ featuring the gravely vocal tones of legendary rocker Bryan Adams, Nick found himself a regular fixture on radio. The release of his second album ‘Behind the Sun’ followed reaching the Top 10 and becoming a major success across Europe.
The Chicane concept is one of a nomadic band which doesn’t conform to the traditional approach of having a single lead singer, working with many different artists and producers. It is a common mistake to think Nick is a DJ – he is actually the writer and producer within the band and the hub of all the live performances.
Aside from his own projects, Nick took time out to lend his famed production talents to a string of other artists, including co-writing and producing tracks for Cher’s ‘Living Proof’ album. He performed remixes for the likes of Everything but the Girl, BT and also wrote and produced a song for previous collaborator Bryan Adams called ‘Eastside Story’ which would later appear on Adams’ ‘Room Service’ album.
With the impending release of the third Chicane album in 2003, Nick suffered a major setback when he became a victim of internet bootlegging. “Amongst many others a wretched character in Russia was peddling my wares on his personal website, rendering two years of work completely useless” explains Nick.”I was not best pleased”.
Chicane returned in 2006 with a new sound. ‘Stoned in Love’ , the first single to be taken from forthcoming album ‘Somersault’, is not so much a departure but in many ways an evolution of the classic Chicane sound. Although the dance element is still alive and well, the track displays a new rock/indie edge and signals a change in direction towards more ‘song based’ tracks incorporating strong melodies. It also features the unmistakable voice of Tom Jones.
For years Chicane has tended to be pigeon holed as a dance act, however the current live show and new material confirm that Chicane is far more diverse with the band continuing to push the boundaries of electronic music live.
Over the years the Chicane live experience has travelled far and wide, from the relative sanity of London’s Islington Academy, to the vastness of Moscow’s Red Square. An appearance at the The World Trade Centre in Manila in 2006 was a similarly bizarre experience. “It was a great gig” Nick reminisces. “Thousands of fans watching us become dehydrated and shriveling into little more than cornflakes on stage in the unbearable heat”.
2007 saw the release of Chicane’s third album ‘Somersault’, and the first single taken from that album – ‘Come Tomorrow’, along with many more crazy gigs around the world.
In 2008, Chicane was set to have two further major collaborations – resulting in the single ‘Bruised Water;’ featuring Natasha Bedingfield (blending elements of ‘Saltwater’ with the vocals of ‘I Bruise Easily’) and ‘Wake Up’ featuring Keane.
These tracks and the myriad other classics are all brought together with the release of ‘Chicane – Best Of (1996-2009)’ – a carefully-selected compilation of the very finest Chicane cuts from those 12 years of music.