Nicky Schrire at Pizza Express Soho

Vocalist Nicky Schrire (*), London-born, Cape Town-raised, and now Toronto-based, hosted a London launch for “Nowhere Girl”, the first album she has released in a decade. Bruce Lindsay has reviewed it for us (link below), and Monika S. Jakubowska’s photos of the gig on 1 August capture the happy spirit of Schrire’s visit to London, in the company of a top-flight band: Tom Cawley, Conor Chaplin, Chris Higginbottom and Rob Luft.

Sebastian writes: In this first picture MSJ has caught a moment when a joke, a smile about something is being shared by Tom Cawley (left) and Nicky Schrire (pronounced shreer-er). Schrire’s new album is a sequence of finely crafted autobiographical vignettes… each one has a meticulously constructed shape and a clever lyric…. Nicky gives a lot of careful thought to the construction of sets…

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…and yet nothing is ever over-serious or self-absorbed, because she is also blessed with a wonderful sense of humour, which she is unafraid to turn back in on herself… plus a fine sense of communication, and a knowledge of how to bring audiences in and to involve them.

Rob Luft and Chris Higginbottom show signs of intense concentration, but top bassist Conor Chaplin here has his particularly knowing and winning smile.

Chris Higginbottom‘s mastery of texture, timbre, balance stays in the mind. With all of this band there is a sense of being among friends. It’s all about respect, admiration, no weak links… and enjoyment.

I think I might need to go somewhere else now, and seek out guitar-plus-piano being done badly, in order to understand quite how well Rob Luft and Tom Cawley interacted and invariably left each other space. MSJ’s photo above captures their mutual trust and joy. And our final photo, the very last in Monika’s sequence has that… “and breathe” feeling. For a job mightily well done.

(*) Nicky Schrire is a regular contributor to LJN

FIRST SET (all songs by Nicky Schrire unless stated)

Blackbird (Lennon–McCartney)
Nowhere Girl
A Morning
Scorpionfish (Beatenberg)
In Paris
Keep it Simple (duo with Tom Cawley)
Highlands (Nikki Iles)


If Ever I Would Leave You (Lerner/ Loewe)
Here Comes the Sun (George Harrison)
This Train
All I Want ( Joni Mitchell)
Bless the Telephone (Labi Siffre) – duo with Rob Luft
My Love

LINKS: Bruce Lindsay’s review of “Nowhere Girl”
Nicky Schrire’s website

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