Guide to British Music of the 1960s

The Nice

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Keith Emerson - keyboards, Brian Davison - drums, Lee Jackson - bass/vocals, Davy O'List - guitar

Brian Davison had been in various bands including The Rocker Shakes and the Mark Lehmann Five with whom he released a single Portland Town which was produced by Manfred Mann. The group split in July 1966 following the death of Lehman in a traffic accident one year earlier. Davison later joined The Habits, the Mike Cotton Sound and the Attack which is also featured Davy O'List. Keith Emerson had been in the VIPs.

The Nice was signed by Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label as a support band for PP Arnold. They soon became a band in their own right after having their own spot during PP Arnold shows. and developed a new form of music that fused rock, jazz, classical and other musical forms to create a new progressive sound. The Nice were signed to the Jimi Hendrix package tour at the end of 1967 which also featured The Move, Pink Floyd and Amen Corner. On some nights Davy O'List ended up taking Syd Barrett's place in Pink Floyd, closing one half of the show with the Nice and opening the second half with Pink Floyd.

A string of classic albums followed: The Thoughts of EmerlistDavJack, Ars LongaVita Brevis, Five Bridges and Elegy. The group developed a spectacular stage show often involving Emerson's knife-wielding act.

O'List was the first to leave the group in autumn 1968 and joined The Misunderstood. Emerson left to form ELP. Lee Jackson formed Jackson Heights while Davison formed Every Which Way. The Nice reformed in 2002 and released a live album.

Brian Davison died in 2008.

Keith Emerson died at home in Los Angeles 11 March 2016.

To be completed

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