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Nick Alexander PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Glennie-Smith   
Friday, 03 March 2017 16:51

Nick Alexander, a talented and eccentric poet, lost his courageous battle against cancer on 8th January 2017.

Nick moved from the 'Sarf-East' to Dymock and thence to Ledbury in the early 2000s

As well as being a prolific poet, Nick was also a musician, and had been involved with many bands, including but not limited to: Echo Road, The Five Malcolms, Fretlock,
Happy Valley, One Night Stan, Pig’s Eye View, Santa’s Twin
and most recently, pOxymoron.

Jim Dening (friend and fellow poet) recalls:

“Nick and I suddenly became pals in 2011 or thereabouts - not long ago - probably in the Feathers or the Prince of Wales.  We used to go to the Prince on Wednesday evenings: Nick to play and sing, I perhaps to drone or howl strange lyrics to musical backing.  For a while we also attended The Retreat.

“Presently we, with like-minded friends, took to attending business meetings at midday on Saturdays in the Prince around the committee table in the front bar.  It was in the pub that Nick and I thought of starting a band.  I knew that he had been involved with bands in the past, but we resolved there should be something sublime about this one.

“Let’s call it Oxymoron”, he said, with his liking for contradictions.
“Let’s call it pOxymoron”, I said, with my liking for contradictions.”

The band grew over the ensuing years: in 2014, Nick invited me to join, with the proviso that I could play anything I liked - as long as it was not a guitar...

As an example of what a genius with words he was, here’s the description of pOxymoron that he provided as promotion for a gig we were preparing to do in the Market Theatre:

“pOxymoron is a Ledbury-based ensemble who perform music and poetry, with a deep appreciation of and leaning toward the absurd.  Often anarchic and rarely predictable, we are entertaining and multi-faceted.  We have steadily increased our membership over the past five years and now boast ten performers, including the recently added (in summer 2016) fabulous pOxettes, whose angelic presence has swooped in to elevate the more eccentrically Neanderthal tendencies of some of the other cohorts.  If you are likely to find the prospect of approaching apocalypse and total ruin entertaining, this is the band for you: we might even offer you philosophical resilience for the undoubtedly twisted times ahead.”

Sadly, it was not possible for the gig to take place.  Nick went into hospital in mid-November 2016 but a place was found for him before Christmas in St. Michael's Hospice, where he was able to spend his last few weeks in calm surroundings, with unsurpassed care from the staff.

We have admired his creativity: since his diagnosis some two years previously, Nick was intensely productive.  He assembled and published comprehensive volumes of his poems, songs and stories.  His posters - witty, wise and withering - continue to be printed by Martin at Tilley Printing and sold at Tinsmiths.

The best and most touching tribute came from his daughter Jess a day or two after he died:

“He truly was a brilliant, eccentric, clever, popular and witty dad, son, brother, uncle and friend: he had so many friends who meant the world to him.”

His son Simon said in his eulogy at Nick’s funeral (which took place in Dymock church on 30th January):

“He has probably already formed another band Up There.”

Given the number of musos who passed away in 2016, he is definitely in good company...
Ledbury will be the poorer without him.


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