Musical talent in one form or another seems to run in families. No more so than if you are a member of the Gibb family. Yes, the Gibb family, of Bee Gees fame. Recently, two family members came together to form a new collaboration aptly named Cousins Gibb.
The next two Features here at At A Glance will introduce you to each of the cousins. I have recently corresponded with Nick Endacott-Gibb, hailing from Hove, England UK. Nick has shared his musical background, as well as his discovery and confirmation of his relationship to the Gibb family as Maurice Gibb‘s son. The Feature following we will meet Debora McLane, from Sydney, Australia, the other half of Cousins Gibb. Debora is the daughter of the Bee Gees sister, Lesley Gibb Evans.
So before we meet Nick, let’s take a listen to the beautiful single Cousins Gibb have just released! Performing a Bee Gees original, Tragedy, presenting it in a new, hauntingly beautiful rendition. Here is Cousins Gibb... have a listen…
Welcome Nick, and thank you so much for agreeing to share with us! I must say it’s been a fun experience chatting with you and getting to know you a bit. You are just lovely, and so generous with your time. So, let’s get started!
Would you please acquaint us with a little overview about yourself, what you do as your career?
Actually I’m very lucky to be able to do what I love, which is working creatively in the music industry, producing and recording not only myself with my own projects, but also other artists.
How did you get your start? I understand you are self-taught on a couple of instruments. How about a little history on the process of how you arrived at where you are today with your music?
Music has been my passion all my life, from a very early age singing at 6 years old in a local choir, to teaching myself drums and guitar. I’ve always had an ear for music and was always fascinated with the studio multitracking process well before I understood anything about it! As soon as I could start doing it myself I did, I didn’t want to keep hiring out studios when I had a song idea at 3am, it’s much easier to get it down yourself!
So you have Produced, Recorded, and also worked as a Sound Engineer. Are there things that you would like to accomplish to move you further in these areas, if you are looking towards that? (training, education, level up in position/job/role)
I’m always seeking out new or better ways of achieving things creatively in the studio and also on the road, either performing, or as sound engineer, you never stop learning, which is half the fun!
What is the most favorite thing about what you do?
Everything! Well, if I was to choose something I guess it would be song creation, either working creatively with an artist or writing myself. I love that process!
Who are/have been your influencers/role models?
When I was younger, I listened to the Beatles constantly, my sister gave me all her Beatles singles in a big box! I loved their sound, especially their harmonies! Generally through my life, I’ve always admired artists and bands that capture emotion and take you to another world, especially when I discovered Steven Wilson, and if you don’t know who he is, check him out, the guy’s a genius!
Do you see yourself staying on this specific music track or are there other avenues you would be interested in pursuing?
I don’t see myself on any music track genre wise, for me music is music, and certain projects I’ve had through the years have been interpretations of various ways of creating music. I’m open to whatever inspires me, but I think now I feel I can do that with my cousin as we both feel there are no rules!
Any advice to share for someone starting in this field?
Always be yourself and stick at it!
There seems to be a lot of new adventures in your life recently. You have recorded a single with Debora McLane, who just happens to be your newly discovered cousin. The title of the single is Tragedy by the Cousins Gibb, and it has been described as A beautiful haunting tribute to the Bee Gees legacy, as well as A wonderful interpretation of an iconic song… Incredibly moving. You have traveled quite the journey to get to this point. Realization that you are, in fact, part of the Bee Gees legacy must have been quite overwhelming. Would you mind sharing some of how this came about for our readers who are unaware?
It’s been a long journey for me, adopted as a baby by beautiful parents in the Sussex countryside, I always sought the origins of my musicality as neither of my two sisters or brother were musical. When I finally found my birth mother when I was 35, who worked in the music industry as a studio manager, this then eventually led to the discovery of my true birth father, Maurice Gibb in 2019, after a 100% DNA match with my half brother Adam Gibb. My birth mother and Maurice were together for a short time when Maurice was only 17 years old in the summer of 1967.
Debora McLane is the daughter of Lesley (Gibb) Evans (older sister to Barry, Robin, Maurice, and Andy Gibb.) Debora has been a vocalist for over 20 years, and resides in Australia. So how did your recording association with Debora happen and the two of you come together to create this magical tribute as the Cousins Gibb? Was travel involved, or separate recording sessions in each of your respective countries that were tracked and mixed together?
When Lesley contacted me it was overwhelming to be recognized into the family, but then to connect also with Debora, it was amazing! We hit it off straight away and couldn’t wait to start working together! I had this idea we should do a cover of Tragedy but in a totally different way that reinterprets the song and brings out the lyrics. Fortunately with todays technology we were able to work remotely, I sent her the idea with a basic piano and my guide vocal which she then recorded her parts to in a studio in Australia, she then sent back the files and I continued working on the music in my studio in Hove. Unfortunately due to the current climate, we still haven’t met!
Recording one of the Bee Gees major hits, Tragedy, can you share a little more about the song selection that went into the single, as well as the interpretation you developed?
Tragedy was always a song I remember from my childhood, I loved the production and melody and always thought the lyrics meant so much, so I really wanted to express those words in more of a heart felt way to bring out the poignancy.
What does the future hold for the Cousins Gibb, and will we be hearing more music from you any time soon?
We are so excited to be working together and really proud of our version of Tragedy as it gives us both a chance to really be ourselves vocally and musically so we have lots planned! We are already working on original material to follow up the single and hope to release our debut album next year.
Ok let’s chat a little about your band, The Speak! Please introduce us to the band members!
Well I’ve had various great session musicians working with me through the years, currently Matthieu Hartley (The Cure) and Jonny Barnett (Paul Draper)
When and how did the band form and how did the name The Speak come to be?
I started the band back in 2012 as a vehicle for all my songs I wanted to take to the stage. The name comes from one of London‘s prestigious late night music clubs in the 60’s The Speakeasy, often referred to as The Speak where my birth mother first worked when she came to London!
If you had to describe your sound, what would you say? Has the band’s sound evolved since you first began?
It’s really heavily inspired by 60’s & 90’s power pop rock, which creates quite a unique hybrid sound, melodic, with lots of vocal harmonies!
I understand that you perform covers as well as some original music. As far as the songwriting process for the original music, how collaborative is it within the band? Does everyone contribute, or is there one who predominantly writes? And if collaborative, who writes music/lyrics? Are you very different in style?
Yes absolutely, we love covering songs from either the 60’s or 90’s Britpop era too! I generally write and arrange the original songs which I then take to the band, they then add their own style and personality, which helps grow the songs further, especially live.
Does the band as a whole or as individuals have any pre-show rituals? Are nerves ever an issue?
Well I never drink any alcohol before a gig, neither does Matt! Other than that, we always look forward to playing and can’t wait, so no nerves, just excitement!
What is your favorite thing about being involved in the whole music experience? What gives you the most satisfaction and what is most frustrating?
Creating, singing, recording, producing, performing! Frustrations? Having a years worth of gigs cancelled due to Covid!
Any upcoming projects/events you’d like to share, for any of your music?
After finally being able to recently play a festival, The Speak are hoping to be back regularly on the circuit again soon. Also, we are working on a new EP!
Wow, that is amazing Nick! Can’t wait for all your new music! So, as we’ve come to the end of our Feature questions, here is a little thing I like to call Fast Five… five general random questions that are just for fun…
Do you believe in UFOs or ghosts?
Favorite food indulgence?
Favorite guilty pleasure?
Lemon drizzle cake
Where would you like to travel?
Trip to outer space or the bottom of the ocean?
Bottom of the Ocean on another planet!
Well, that about wraps things up. Thank you again, Nick, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share some insights and your amazing music with us! I’m looking forward to sharing Debora‘s story in our next Feature. Until then, if our readers would like to learn more about your adoption and journey to find your birth parents, I’ve shared a fabulous interview you did with Alex James entitled What’s Your Story? Your openness and sincerity during this exploration is encouraging for all adoptees who would like to uncover their roots. I am so happy that your discovery answered the questions you were searching for. Looking forward for more to come from Cousins Gibb and The Speak, and would love to follow up once your album and EP comes to fruition!