Late drummer Nick Iddon to be honored at Providence Music Festival

When Nick Iddon died of lung cancer on March 15 at the age of 44, it left a major void in the Providence music scene. Since the late 1990s, the Fairhaven, Massachusetts native had been a local fixture, thanks to his excellent drumming skills for bands such as Kanerko, The Quahogs, Viking Jesus, The Sonce, Ravi Shavi and others.

When Iddon wasn’t playing, he usually hung out at venues in Providence such as Dusk, Askew and The Parlour, the last of which features Iddon in a mural outside, created by artist Tom West.

Iddon was a friend to many, including me, while being an incredibly supportive person and a true human being. To celebrate his legacy, a two-day music marathon called Shiza Fest will take place September 17-18 at Dusk, 301 Harris Ave. Proceeds will go to a charitable fund that will benefit music education programs and Iddon’s mother.

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How Shiza Fest was born

The idea for Shiza Fest (named after one of the many unique and colorful ‘iddonisms’ he was known for among his friends) was born when a group of mates from Iddon’s band gathered at Nolan’s Corner Pub on Atwells Avenue, and one of them had a date booked for September dusk.

“I thought it might take this long to revive Viking Jesus,” said Kris Hansen, the band’s vocalist and rhythm guitarist. “Al Diaz [from Kanerko]Steve Delmonico [from The Quahogs] and Rafay Rachid [from Ravi Shavi] everyone expressed a desire to do something like a memorial, so we had the date and the idea, and everything else fell into place.

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“It would end up being all the bands he played with and liked on the poster, but it turned out that we would need a week to accommodate the number of acts that wanted to step in and play for Nick,” Hansen said, crediting Dusk with offering the venue and staff for the event.

Besides the significance of the event to the Providence music scene, Hansen said, it’s also deeply personal to him.

Nick Iddon, who died in March at the age of 44, will be honored by former bandmates at Shiza Fest, which takes place September 17-18 at Providence Club Dusk.

“I first met Nick as a sound engineer on my first day on the job at the Living Room,” he said. “We bonded immediately and have since become friends. I’ve laughed, cried, fought and made the best music of my life alongside Nick, and the last 10 years of playing with Nick have been amazing. Ever since his passing in March, the surprise, shock and grief are still very fresh to us, and it’s hard to describe my feelings beyond that.

Kanerko’s Diaz shares that sense of loss.

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“Where to start with Nick Iddon? To me, he was more than my bandmate for eight years,” Diaz said. “He was my brother and we always supported each other. We were each other’s therapists and comedians. Even though on the outside he sometimes had this tough and serious attitude, once you get to know him, he was the sweetest, humblest human being. He would literally give you the shirt on his back, of which I now own 20, all sleeveless. He was an old soul and he also knew the big names in jazz, music in general, cars, sports and old movie quotes from the 70s and 80s.”

“When Kanerko started in 2004, the band’s main goal was to make the music we always wanted,” he said. “…We were really a band of brothers and we wanted to make loud music, but not loud, just heavy rock ‘n’ roll with a lot of soul.”

A mural by artist Tom West outside Providence club The Parlor features drummer Nick Iddon, seen left.

Low moment becomes turning point in Iddon’s career

When Kanerko broke up in 2012, Diaz recalls a night at the Met in Pawtucket when a crestfallen Iddon told her he was considering selling his drums and calling it a day. Diaz gave him a pep talk, urging him to “go out and play, play, play” with a variety of bands and branch out into other musical styles. Iddon continued to do just that, forging strong bonds with other musicians along the way.

“Nick was a force of nature,” said SEXCoffee singer Ruth Charbonneau. “I have always been impressed with his pursuit of perfection and his dedication to the music we created together. He would record every show and always come to the next practice with a CD labeled with the date and location. See him perform drumming was fascinating. He was the most genuine and humble soul. Having him as a band member and friend was an honor.

“It’s hard to think Nick is just a drummer,” added SEXCoffee bassist Sharlene DeNardo, who will fill in on bass with Kanerko (who’s reuniting for Shiza Fest). “Of course, that’s how it started for me. I ran a Daddy’s Junky Music store, and he used to come and check out used drums. He knew I was a bass player for SEXCoffee and I knew he played drums in Kanerko, but because we never shared a bill in the seven years our bands were active on the same music scene, we never really knew the caliber of each other’s musical talents. , which changed in 2013. I was asked to join a project called Malyssa and the Liberators, and Nick was the drummer.

Nick Iddon has played for a number of local bands including Kanerko, The Quahogs, Viking Jesus, The Sonce and Ravi Shavi.

A generous musician who has always highlighted his comrades

“The moment him and I locked in as the rhythm section was amazing,” she added. “I had never worked with a drummer who mapped out a song from start to finish in such meticulous detail. It was a machine with tempo and subdivisions, but its energy was organic. You couldn’t just cut and paste his drums, because he accentuated the nuances of other musicians and brought their parts to life. He recorded every rehearsal, every show, and took notes as if watching a replay of a football game.

“Nick wasn’t just a drummer. He was a musician’s heartbeat,” DeNardo said. “Shiza Fest is going to be incredibly cathartic for all of us who have ever played with him or listened to him play. From the applause of Viking Jesus to the monstrous fill-ins of Kanerko, it will feel like he is right there with us. in the spirit .”

Which bands will perform at Shiza Fest?

In addition to paying homage to Iddon, the music at Shiza Fest is quite diverse, incorporating garage rock, surf, psychedelic, folk, reggae, hard rock, and synthpop, to name a few styles. .

Shiza Fest’s first day bill will feature Sonsoma, Helen & The Trash Pandas, Eclectic Electric, Animal Face, Tall Teenagers, The Z-Boys, Kanerko, The Quahogs, SEXCoffee and Viking Jesus, along with some acoustic stories and stories of Iddon closing at night.

Day two will have Brown Apples, No Plateau, Tung, Sgt. Baker & The Clones, Nate Cozzolino & The Lost Arts, High Planes, Ravi Shavi, The Sonce, Yugenraa and artist Jackie & The Wizard.

Shiza Fest organizers plan to make it an annual event to preserve Iddon’s legacy. If you were friends with the man who went by the names “Nick The Pipe” and “Prime,” chances are you’ve already freed up your schedule to attend at least one of the shows. If you haven’t had the pleasure of knowing Iddon, come and listen to an abundance of great music anyway.

If you are going to …

What: Shiza Festival

Where: Twilight, 301 Harris Ave, Providence

When: Sept. 17-18, 1 p.m.-1 a.m.

Tickets: $10


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