Nic Holson is a guitarist, songwriter, tutor and enthusiastic performer from Scotland who is passionate about the creation and most importantly enjoyment of musicNic (born Gary Nicholson 29th of May 1993, Livingston) was surrounded with music from a young age, growing up listening to artists like Queen, Marc Bolan and T-Rex, Alan Jackson as well as great 90s pop acts like Five and S Club 7. He got his first guitar at the age of 6, however after one strum he was disappointed to find that it didn’t sound like Brian May, and so the guitar was put to the back of the cupboard.
Whilst at primary school Nic began learning the Clarinet and continued this through his school career, gaining his grade 5 and an A for Advanced Higher Music. He was heavily involved in his schools Windband, Orchestra and Jazz Band and was first Clarinet by 5th year.
Nic returned to the guitar at the start of high school and formed his first band “Neon Avenue” in 3rd year. Teaching himself guitar it wasn’t until 5th year that he began to get finger picking lessons from Colin Mackenzie. His most notable gig with “Neon Avenue” was supporting “The Dykeenies” at The Alhambra in Dunfermline in 2010.
After high school Nic went to The Academy of Music and Sound in Edinburgh to study a HNC in Music with his principle study being guitar. It was here that Nic’s passion for music and the guitar grew dramatically, giving him a better idea of what he would want to do in the future.
After doing the HNC, Nic went on to study a BA/Hons in Popular Music at Edinburgh Napier University where he graduated from in July 2016. Whilst studying on the course his understanding of the music industry increased tenfold and opened up his mind to the many avenues that his career may take.
Nic began teaching privately in 2012 whilst still at university. Since then he has taught a wide range of ages from 5 to 70, has helped two students go on to study music at college and has taught as part of projects with three different charity groups, Synchronicity, Heart and Sound and Headroom.
In 2013 Nic formed the band Flintlock N Roll. It began as a country rock band but transitioned more into a classic rock band. Flintlock N Roll released 2 demo cds and in 2014 won the Glen Gates Studios Battle of the Bands Competition. During his time with Flintlock N Roll Nic developed his songwriting ability and really honed his stagecraft.
Flintlock N Roll split up at the beginning of 2015, and in April 2015 Nic then formed a new band, State of Truth, with singer/songwriter Karen Mowat. State of Truth released their debut 3 track single in June 2016 which you can listen to on Spotify.
In the summer of 2016 Nic also joined Painting Rockets as their live session guitarist as well as appearing in their debut music video for their single “Empathy“. Nic then joined them as a permanent member in January 2017 and played a number of gigs including supporting The Virginmarys at The Cathouse in Glasgow on the 17th March 2017.
Nic then left Painting Rockets in October 2017 because of musical/personal differences and also to focus on his new and exciting band The Passing Sages.
State of Truth disbanded at the start of 2017 due to the members having different focuses in life and in August of 2017 Nic (Guitar), Ian (Bass) and Sean (Drums) played their first gig with their new band The Passing Sages.
The Passing Sages have recently recruited two amazing vocalists, Holly Clark and Carrie Forgan and will be recording their debut EP at the start of 2019.
Photo by Scott Swanson
As well as The Passing Sages, Nic now also plays guitar for the new Fife alt-rock/indie band Stay For Tomorrow, featuring Sages band mate Sean Priestley on Drums. Stay For Tomorrow, which also includes Joe MacFarlane (Vocals/Guitar) and Ollie Cobbett (Bass), started working together in March 2018 and are set to release their first single at the start of 2019 when they will also begin work on recording their debut EP.
Photo by Lewis Milne
As well as writing his own music and doing session work for singers, Nic also plays guitar for theatre shows including the musical “Rent” with Uncompromising Artistry Productions from New York at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015. He has also played for two other productions of “Rent”, with YMTS in Lochgelly in 2015 and Glasgow Live Productions in 2016. Other shows include “Vernon God Little” with the Edinburgh Napier University drama department in 2016 and “Sunshine on Leith” with the Kelty Musical Association in 2016.
Nic also had the amazing opportunity to perform again at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2017 with Pop Filter from New York and their music comedy show “Fauxchella Music Festival”.
In May 2018 he then travelled to New York to perform with Pop Filter again and then in the summer of 2018 recording guitar for Pop Filter’s Adam Blotner’s comedy album “Step To The Left: Country For Liberals”.
Nic listens to and is inspired by a wide range of genres but his biggest influence has to be Rock and Metal. Some of his favourite bands include Metallica, Black Stone Cherry, Rush, Extreme, Black Sabbath, Poison, Steel Panther, Megadeth, Halestorm, Shinedown, The Darkness, Heart, Toto, The Darkness, The Eagles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Santana, Iron Maiden and Tenacious D to name just a few.