Music is Nick's great passion - listening to it rather than playing it! To his father's great chagrin Nick doesn't give much of a stuff for classical music, but has an unquenchable thirst to unearth hidden rock and pop gems.

To feed his habit Nick has amassed a collection of around 3,000 CDs that cover two walls of his study and are known as the "Walls of sound" in a homage top the great yet bonkers Phil Spector. Nick shows signs of some sort of syndrome or disorder by ensuring that his CDs are always arranged in alphabetical order and subsequently in order of album release by artist! Every single CD has now been backed up as an MP3 - almost 200GB of pop perfection (well, there are a few clunkers in there too!).

Finally, in 2008 Nick entered the download era. This has seen a doubling of the size of the music collection with lots of great vinyl-only additions from the 70s and 80s.

Nick's musical tastes cover a broad spectrum, but you'll find most of his music can be calssified as rock and "powerpop" and is influenced by The Beatles, The Beach Boys & The Byrds. If you want to know specific details of the collection please drop us a line. Nick is also happy to put together sampler CDs on the understanding that you buy the work of any artists you like the sound of.

Nick also gets out to see live music whenever someone worthwhile is playing in the Northwest. Normally he goes with his brother-in-law, Dean and his mate Cliff. Nick prefers smaller venues where you can stand close to the front and will only go to see artists with talent, so there are no X-Factor contestants on his gig list!

Where to buy - here are my favourite sites for buying CDs

  • Ebay - not the place for bargains that it used to be, but still fantastic for getting hard-to-find CDs. Make sure you look on both the and the .com versions
  • Amazon Marketplace - There are some really low prices here and postage for a CD is only £1.24. Amazon itself is good too, but it's usually cheaper via Marketplace.
  • CD Baby - not the place for mainstream music, but a great place to browse by genre and listen to snippets of tracks. CDs cost from $5 to about $15. They will ship 10 CDs to the UK for about $10
  • Koolkatmusik - Ray runs a great operation and has wonderful taste in powerpop. The website is a bit sluggish but worth persevering with. CDs cost from around $10 to about $15. Like CD Baby, $10 will get you the shipping for 10 CDs to the UK.
  • Second Spin - Fabulous condition used CDs for around $6-$8 each. Wait for their shipping offers when they ship to  the UK for free -
  • GEMM - an umbrella site for thousands of independent record shops. A massive selection but make sure you set your filters to weed out unwanted vinyl and, worst of all, sellers who don'r have items in stock. This tends to be my "when all else fails" resource -
  • HMV - not the high street stores with their rip-off prices, but the .com site. Big selection at Amazonesque prices, or often cheaper. Postage is free.
  • CD-Wow - Usually cheaper than Amazon by £1-£2 and shipping is free. The downside is it takes a week or longer for CDs to arrive as they ship from the Far East, but they are pukka CDs.
  • Not Lame - for years and years my favourite site, but recently let themselves down badly over a cutomer service incident so I no longer buy from them. Still a good place to check out what's good in powerpop.