Erica Nockalls: Conservatoire trained violinist. Multi-instrumentalist. Artist.

Biography

Born – August 30th, 1983. Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.
Associated genres – Indie Rock. Art Rock. Pop. Alternative Rock. Metal.
Occupation – Musician. Artist. Live and studio session violinist. String arranger. Composer.
Instruments – Violin. Vocals. Piano. Viola. Guitar. Cello.
Labels – IRL. Fake Chapter Records. Erica Nockalls Music.

Erica Nockalls is an English violinist, vocalist, songwriter and visual artist. She is best known as violinist in The Wonder Stuff, as one half of acoustic duo Miles Hunt And Erica Nockalls, and as live fiddle player for The Proclaimers. Nockalls is lead vocalist, violinist and guitarist in her art-rock band, Erica Nockalls.

 

Early Life

Erica Nockalls was born in Rotherham, England. Her classical guitarist father Martin Nockalls worked as the Guitar Co-ordinator for Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council. Her mother Louise Nockalls worked as Claims Manager for a large insurance brokerage whilst simultaneously exhibiting as a watercolour artist.

Nockalls studied classical violin and received regular private tuition from age 7. She was offered a placement at Chetham’s School of Music aged 9, though Nockalls only attended for one trial week, deciding that the school was not for her.

“Even though I was only there for one week, I couldn’t help but notice all the girls in my dorm seemed so sad, crying themselves to sleep. I wasn’t done being a kid yet. I told them I wanted to leave, and left”.

At age 11, Nockalls moved with her family to the Isle of Axholme, North Lincolnshire, where she attended South Axholme Comprehensive School. By age 15 she had passed Associated Board Grade 8 violin with distinction, and by age 16 was leader of The Beechfield Youth Orchestra. Throughout her teens Nockalls played in rock bands with school friends and played locally as an electric violinist in rock covers bands. Nockalls also taught herself to play piano, guitar and bass guitar during this time.

She went on to study A-level Music, Music Technology and Media at John Leggott Sixth Form College, Scunthorpe, before successfully auditioning for a place to study violin at Birmingham Conservatoire aged 19.

Nockalls accepted an entrance scholarship to study violin performance at Birmingham Conservatoire. She was mentored by Japanese violin virtuoso, Ken Aiso for the entirety of the course and graduated in 2006 with a bachelor of music with honours. Nockalls chose voice as her second study instrument at the Conservatoire.

Whilst studying at the Conservatoire, Nockalls formed and performed live with Birmingham based progressive metal band, FIRESWITCH. They released a self-titled EP in 2003 and gigged extensively throughout the West Midlands. Nockalls shared the role of lead vocalist in the group and played a Ted Brewer electric violin, her first official instrument sponsor.

EN_1
(FIRESWITCH circa 2003. Photo L–R – Chris Green, Rick Morley, Erica Nockalls)

Professional Career

The Wonder Stuff (2005-present)

TWS
(Photo L–R – Dan Donnelly, Tony Arthy, Mark McCarthy, Erica Nockalls, Miles Hunt)

Nockalls joined UK alternative indie rock band, The Wonder Stuff, as violinist in 2005 after The Wonder Stuff’s producer spotted the violinist busking in Stratford Upon Avon. Whilst studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, Nockalls frequently busked in cities and towns of the West Midlands at weekends in order to support herself financially.

Since joining The Wonder Stuff, Nockalls has contributed to the making of 6 studio albums, providing string arrangements and backing vocals. Nockalls is credited as a co-writer on albums Oh No!…It’s The Wonder Stuff [2012] and 30 Goes Around The Sun [2016].

Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls (2006 – present)

M+E
(Photo Miles Hunt & Erica Nockalls, Garforth Arts Festival, 2014)

In 2006 Nockalls began to tour as violinist with The Wonder Stuff’s lead singer and guitarist to perform acoustically as a duo. Hunt and Nockalls have written and released 2 studio albums together and also produced and released 2 acoustic compilation albums, plus 1 live album.

Nockalls has been performing as live guest violinist with The Proclaimers since the Scottish folk rock band first asked her to play the fiddle solo on the song Sunshine On Leith live at Edinburgh Castle in 2008. Nockalls’s guest appearances with The Proclaimers have since included performances at many televised UK festivals, including Glastonbury Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, V Festivals and Belladrum. Nockalls also appeared live on The One Show, BBC1 with The Proclaimers, Oct 16th 2013.

Solo Work

Imminent Room, Nockalls’s debut solo album was released on Independent Records Ltd, 2013. The album comprises of 11 original songs written and performed by Nockalls in an art-rock/alternative genre.

imroom

“It took me until I was 27 to feel I was ready to write my solo album, and as the mission statement explains in the Imminent Room artwork, I was bored of hearing and being disappointed by the efforts of almost everybody else, so I thought I’d invent my own music and stop moaning about it. It’s not like I’m a good little classically trained violinist turned bad – I’ve always been like this, it’s just now it’s coming out.”

Featured artists on Imminent Room include Jeff Walker (Carcass) on Neon Crucifix Ft Jeff Walker. Wayne Hussey (The Mission) and Mark Gemini Thwaite (Tricky/Peter Murphy/Mob Research) on I Am Me, This Is Now Ft Wayne Hussey and Mark Gemini Thwaite.

Imminent Room was mixed and co-produced by TV composer George Taylor (Fratelli Brothers). The pair initially met in 2008 when Taylor employed Nockalls to record strings on his various TV projects, including BBC Arena documentaries: The Dreams of William Golding [2012] and The Hunt for Moby Dick [2009], Farm Fixer [2012] and At Your Service [RTE/BBC 2008-2010], Romy Schneider – A Woman in 3 Notes [ORF / Arte 2008].

After the release of Imminent Room, Nockalls formed a live band and embarked on a UK tour supporting The Wonder Stuff. She has since supported artists including Toyah, Public Image Ltd, Pop Will Eat Itself and Miyavi. Nockalls sometimes adorns her stages with her own artwork.

EN2 (2014). The 2nd solo album by Nockalls comprises of 11 original songs written, recorded, produced, mixed and released by Nockalls. In January 2014 she set herself the task of producing an album and self-releasing it within the one year. EN2 was funded entirely by sales of her artwork and album pre-sales through her website.

EN2

Dutch Head

Dutch Head is an alternative pop project conceived by George Taylor with material co-written and vocalized by Nockalls. Their debut release is a full album entitled The Music Of Sound (2016).

Tronos

In 2015 Nockalls accepted an invitation from Shane Embury [Napalm Death] to take part as vocalist in his collaboration project, Tronos.

Live Session work

Nockalls toured as live violinist, viola player and backing vocalist for Fink on the Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet European tour, 2012.

 

Art

Nockalls held her debut gallery exhibition at Havill & Travis, Birmingham, 2014. The event was an album launch for her 2nd studio album release EN2, where she painted a work for each of her album tracks, using each song’s subject matter as inspiration and used each painting as a listening station for each song with a digital listening station.

Nockalls is a self-taught artist and paints with oils on canvas, often preferring to use her fingers instead of brushes. Nockalls is a member of Saatchiart.com and sells her work through her official website.

 

Sponsorship

Nockalls is sponsored by Ted Brewer Violins. She demonstrated these violins at music exhibitions internationally from 2005-2008, including Namm (LA), Frankfurt, and London.

Nockalls is also sponsored by PIRASTRO Strings, Fishman, Vivien Of Holloway, MAC Cosmetics, Maya Hansen, Egality Freedom.

 

Erica is available for both live guest performances and also studio session work on strings / vocals. Studio session work can be recorded remotely. Please use the contact form to request her 2016 session work pricelist.


“WE COULD SEE SOMETHING VERY BIG FROM HER INDEED”

– Stereo Board


“EN2 SOUNDS LIKE A GETTING READY TO GO OUT ALBUM.”

– Miles Hunt


“ERICA NOCKALLS STRIKES AN IMPOSING PRESENCE ON THE ROCK CITY STAGE. THINK PART ALICE IN WONDERLAND CHIC, MAYBE PART BRIGITTE NIELSEN, BUT WITHOUT DOUBT, ALL PARTS ROCK STAR.”

– Rock n Rose