Ah, Nik Kershaw. I can sense that at least 95% of you are scratching your heads, wondering who the hell is Nik Kershaw? Even the picture probably isn’t helping. (May I just digress for a moment and tell you of the glorious treasures in the above photo? Point #1: an absolutely magnificently teased mullet, Point #2: he’s wearing a ladies’ silk blouse, Point #3: he is pretending to row a boat with a giant oar. BEST. PICTURE. EVER.)
Nik Kershaw is best known in America for his hit song Wouldn’t It Be Good, and the accompanying video in which he is an alien wandering the earth with a glowing suit. I refuse to link that video to this post because I am so goddamn sick of that song, I never want to hear it again for the rest of my life. (I feel the same way about Duran Duran’s The Reflex, Devo’s Whip It and so on and so on.)
However, I will post the video to The Riddle, which was a minor hit in America and might jog your memory a bit. I love this song because it is complete and utter nonsense, and the video is also a bunch of stuff and nonsense. It’s very whimsical and has an Alice in Wonderland sort of vibe.
Wow, you guys, just look at how perfectly coiffed and styled he is. The 80’s were the best decade for pop stars who played the part at all times. Of course, back then there wasn’t the TMZ and paparazzi swarm, so I suppose if there had been, I might have seen Nick Rhodes without makeup. I am not sure my worldview would have been able to handle it. Instead, I always saw my pop idols in full makeup, with massively teased hair, and designer duds. Just look at the adorable little suspenders Nik Kershaw wore in that video!
I should mention that part of the appeal of Nik Kershaw is that he is so very very tiny. The only pop star I can think of who might be his height or shorter is Prince. Nik is rumored to be 4 foot 11 inches, but I have also heard 5 foot 1 inch. Either way, he is a Pocket Pop Star Pal. I am a tall woman, at 5 foot 9 inches, but I always seem to get crushes on these itty bitty types. When I see Nik Kershaw I marvel at how utterly compact he is, and how his clothes are always too big for him because he is so extremely diminutive. He always wore shirts that hung off him and pants that ballooned around him. This is why he had to wear the adorably itty bitty suspenders that I marveled at earlier. *happy sigh*
Besides his good looks, and appealing doll-like stature, Nik Kershaw is an amazing songwriter. He wrote a few songs with Elton John later in his career. Most people dismiss Nik as a one-hit wonder and never bother to look further, but those people are missing out. I would highly recommend any of his work. If you’re looking for something a little deeper than 80’s pop, then check out To Be Frank. It’s a collection of mature, emotional songs that really connect with the listener.
I am not sure what happened, and why Nik isn’t an elder statesman of AOR. In my mind, he should be right up there with Elton John or Billy Joel in the pop pantheon. I guess because he was part of the British New Wave, he was pushed aside and put in the corner. Nobody puts Baby in the corner!
Nowadays, Nik’s mullet is long gone, but his talent remains. I implore you to give him a chance. I think you’d be happily surprised!