Saturday, August 24, 2019

Femme fatale

As someone familiar with her chiefly through her contributions to the impossibly cool first Velvet Underground LP,  I was amazed to discover that Nico once called the Prestwich area of north Manchester home. Prompted by the existence of The Nico Project, a show starring Maxine Peake staged at last month's Manchester International Festival, Dave Simpson spoke to some of those who were in her orbit at that time, including bandmates, managers and founding Fall members Una Baines and Martin Bramah.

She may not have made much music in the city, but as a "true bohemian" she certainly made a big impression (not least as an unrepentant heroin addict) before leaving for Ibiza. In the words of her former keyboard player James Youngs, she was "wonderful, maddening, beautiful, a monster, incredibly gifted and phenomenally lazy". Little wonder she got on with Mark E Smith, really...

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