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Samples of Nick's music are available opposite by clicking on 'songs'.  If you would like to find out more about the the lyrics, the album and how it was made just scroll down.  Video, including Nick's new single, is available here.

Nick Langston’s new debut album ‘Captivated’ is an exciting and eclectic collection of songs written and arranged by Nick. His influences stretch from 1950s jazz through to contemporary rock and pop with a mix of latin and swing thrown in and his vocal style has been inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Scott Walker, Andy Williams, Bryan Ferry and Harry Connick Jr.

His well-crafted music and arrangements have been performed by some excellent musicians local to the Bristol area and who showed great enthusiasm for the project.  Much of the album was recorded at Room4Studios in Bristol with sound engineering done by Phil Davies.  Along with his vocals, Nick plays a number of instruments on the album which he also produced, mixed and mastered.  

Buy the album here.

New singles and videos from the album

Golden Eyes - free download

It's better to have lost than loved

Angel with the devil's eyes

  Videos and  singles

Before recording each track the band loosened up with a few standards they were used to playing - hear are some free rough mixes of those tracks performed live.

Moondance (classic track with Andy Kinsman on saxophone)

Sway (another classic track with John Lambert on piano)

Nature Boy (great latin version with Walter Dirks on trumpet)

Spooky (funky version with Nick Langston on guitar)

 

Roxanne (live video at Colston Hall, Bristol)

The Girl from Ipanema (live video at Thornbury Arts Festival)

 

 
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The making of the Album

 

 

Captivated

 

I wanted a track that introduced the album and had elements of swing, salsa and the feel of a gig in a bar in Bristol.  The stops and rhythm changes were initially a challenge but we got there in the end.  Andy Kinsman plays some great sax lines that we doubled up. Walter Dirks is also there with some trumpet stabs.  The rhythm section is Jim Pimpernell on bass and Mike Davis on drums and you can hear them letting go to give it a lift towards the end.  John Lambert keeps the piano tight throughout.  Along with the vocals you might also catch me on guitar, shaker, claves and tambourine (but not at the same time).

 

 

 

 

Angel with the devil's eyes

 

When I wrote this I wanted a classic swing-jazz song that you'd be convinced you'd heard before - just a simple jazz quartet. Sol Ahmed gets the bass exactly right and Walter Dirks copes brilliantly with my request for 'dying trumpet' - the atmosphere is then set for shuffley drums from Mike Davis and some sparse keyboards from John Lambert.  Andy Kinsman then gradually adds more sax including a great solo. This was the second take.

 

 

 

 

 

Golden eyes

 

I wanted to write an Andy Williams tune and liked the idea of a change from D minor in the verse to D major in the chorus.  The track has live and programmed drums and percussion that I had great fun doing - I also did the bass, keyboards and other bits and pieces.  Walter Dirks then added some gentle trumpet and Andy Kinsman added alto sax and flute.

 

 

 

 

Fly by night

 

This aimed to be another classic swing jazz tune.  It starts with Andy Kinsman on flute and leads on to another great sax solo.  John Lambert does a gentle piano motif at the start over the drums of Mike Davis and the bass of Jim Pimpernell.  I really like the key change after the first chorus that makes its way back to the original key when the vocals come back in.  I also added a few strings to give it a little more body.

 

 

 

 

Fall in love with me

 

I always thought of this as having a bit of a Jack Johnson feel. I wanted it to be a simple song that shuffled along and told the story of a guy who didn't mind if he was sometimes not treated that well, he just wants her to love him (she's clearly very cute and worth the effort).  I did all the instruments on this song though in the studio the drums initially sounded like a seven year old was playing them. Andy Kinsman then added some lovely sax with some really melodic fills.

 

 

 

Thursday night

 

I wanted to write a straight jazz tune that reminded me of all the nights I had spent at jams - particularly East Bristol Jazz Club (EBJC) which was always on a Thursday.  I thought a fast waltz would be fun and so got Andy Kinsman to play tenor sax, alto sax and flute on this one.  I added guitar and supporting us was Phil Olds on bass, Mike Davis on drums and John Lambert on keyboards who nails a brilliant solo on the second take.  Notice how the song speeds up as we get more and more into it.

 

 

It's better to have lost than loved

 

This is as bitter as I could make it.  I wanted to twist all of the cliches about love and turn it into a song about a guy who now believes that it is better to lose any chance of love than go through the hell of loving someone only for it to fall apart. I love the brilliant muted trumpet from Walter Dirks and Andy Kinsman's sad sax.  Once again John Lambert, Jim Pimpernell and Mike Davis do a great job on keyboards, bass and drums.  I also added a few subtle strings to help the mood.

 

 

Buenas Noches

 

This was written in ten minutes before a gig.  I knew Walter Dirks would be joining me and liked stuff in G minor so this was the result - consequently he does a great trumpet solo. Andy Kinsman then added alto sax to give it an extra dynamic.  I played the rest of the music on this track and it was a good opportunity to add some small guitar licks throughout.  Noticed the use of 'morning' and mourning'?

 

 

 

Desert lullaby

 

I wanted a simple tune and liked the idea of it having a slight Arabic twist - the melody came first and then I played with the chords.  This is the only song I wrote on piano, the rest being written on guitar.  I then gave it to Andy Christie and said he could play it any way he liked - he did a great job.  Also look out for the discordant noises I added in the background at the beginning and at the end.

 

 

Fall over with me

 

This song is years old and was never intended for the album.  We gave it a go in the studio and John Lambert's keyboards were so good I just had to include it.  Mike Davis keeps the drums tight and it was great to have Phil Olds' bass on it.  I then added various noises and lots of atmospheric guitar which is always fun to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los campos elisios

 

I wanted a ballad with a Spanish feel and when I got to the chorus I had the syllables of the title but no words.  I then wondered if the Spanish translation of 'Champs Elysees' was 'los campos elisios' and discovered it was.  The song is about the elysian fields - a place that is similar to heaven in classical literature - and the idea that if you lose someone perhaps in your dreams you will walk with them again. I had intended to do everything on this track but Andy Kinsman was keen to add some flute and I'm glad he did.

 

 

Desert lullaby II

 

This is only called 'II' because it comes second to the first version - even though it was actually recorded first.  Mike Collins came into the studio and this was his second take - it's absolutely beautiful.  I then asked Andy Kinsman to do some atmospheric flute having not heard what Mike had done and I then added guitar and various other noises.

 

Lyrics

 

 

Captivated

 

A quiet night, the moon has gone, 

I cannot be the only one who's looking for the girl to fit my dreams.

Another place where people sway and lovers dance the night away,

I'm looking for the girl who takes the scene.

And in the rising heat my heart it never skipped a beat, 

until that drop-dead smile that knocked me off my feet.

 

She's got rhythm, she's got style, she's got something by the mile. 

She is the one that makes the stars and moon so bright.

She's exquisite, she's got style, I'm captivated by her smile. 

She is the one that makes it hard for me to fight.  

I really want to fall in love tonight.

   

 

Angel with the devil's eyes

 

I keep wondering what is wrong with me, 

'cos I keep praying that she'll let me be.

She's got evil thoughts and I know that I should testify 

that I never tried to stop her taking me.

The priest said that I should confess, I know, 

but just one look at her is all it takes to let go.

She walks just like an angel walks, she talks just like an angel talks but she's got the devil deep inside, the angel with the devil's eyes.

A touch just like an angel's touch and ooh I like it oh so much 

but she's got the devil deep inside, 

the angel with the devil, devil's eyes.

 

 

Golden eyes

 

Golden eyes she's dancing, golden eyes she takes me there, 

golden eyes she's smiling and I know where.

Golden eyes I’m dreaming, golden eyes she got me there,

golden eyes she’s scheming and I don’t care.

I was feeling lost and lonely, she's the one that I love only.  

In her arms she hears my prayer.

Beyond the rainbow there's a golden sky.  

I found the girl there with the golden eyes.

 

Fly by night

A midnight breeze, I'm holding you beside me, 

in the darkness of the night.

Above the sea are two lovers framed by starlight 

and you’re so heavenly.

So let me love and hold you while the night sky is all ours.  

Wrap your smile around me just like Venus loving Mars 

and love beneath the stars.

Fly by night so this will never end, wake me up to love again 

and let me see the stars light up your eyes.

Don't sleep until the morning comes, watch the moon

and let me be the one with whom you love to fly by night.

 

 

Fall in love with me

 

It doesn't matter if the moon is lonely 

or if the sun has fallen in the sea. 

I don't mind if you just tell your stories, but fall in love with me.

It doesn't matter what you said you told me, 

whatever the weather, whatever you want to be. 

I don't mind if you knew love before me, just fall in love with me.

Oh, let me walk in the sunshine, yes I'll hold your hand in the rain. 

Oh, with you beside me, well I don't need anything to guide me 

and my love can ease your pain.

Oh, it's all I want to be, so fall in love with me.

 

 

 

Thursday night

 

... there's a jam happening in Bristol ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's better to have lost than loved

 

I just stopped looking for the key.  

A lonely heart will be no good for me.  

I won't let my mind wander through a sea of hopeless dreams.

Should I sit alone and drink and wait for you to phone me? 

Should I lie awake at night feeling lost and lonely?

It's better to have lost than loved if loving leaves you cold. 

It scratches like a rose upon your face, it leaves you blinded 

and if loving sometimes hurts then give me something else to hold.

It's not written in the stars above, but it's better to have lost than loved.

 

 

Buenas noches

 

Buenas noches mi chiquita, buenas noches, 

it is time for me to see you in my dreams. 

In my mind I've loved a thousand times, every time you come to me.

Buenas noches mi chiquita, buenas noches, 

now the sun is slipping down behind the sea. 

In the night I'll love and hold you tight and our love will always be.

As the moonlight falls upon a lonely sea, 

I will come to you and hold you close to me 

and as the morning sun lights up the mourning dew, 

remember I will always love you, love you.

 

 

Desert lullaby

 

... an interlude ...

 

 

 

 

Fall over with me

 

In my head I don't know why 

you watch me fall and pass me by. 

Fall over with me.

There'll be times when you feel down, 

there'll be times when I'm not 'round.  

Fall over with me.

If your rain comes over me,

you can bring me to my knees.

I don't know how the rain may fall, 

I don't know how you flow right through me. 

I don't know how the rain may fall, 

I want you to fall over with me.

 

 

Los campos elisios

 

In the night I dream again of a world that would give me time. 

In my sleep I smile again at all that I thought was mine.    

And you fill my heart and once more I see.

In dreams we'll walk through fields, 

los campos elisios, 

and we will smile again.  

And stars will light the trees, 

los campos elisios, 

and we will shine again.

 

 

Desert lullaby II

 

... and sleep ...