Nick Kent

Nick Kent

Nick Kent (born 24 December 1951) is a British rock critic and musician.


Along with writers including Paul Morley, Charles Shaar Murray and Danny Baker, Nick Kent is seen as one of the most important and influential UK music journalists of the 1970s. He wrote for the British music publication New Musical Express, moving to The Face later in his career. Kent is the author of two books: The Dark Stuff, a collection of his journalism and Apathy for the Devil: A 1970's Memoir which is an autobiographical account of his life and experiences in the 1970's published in March 2010. Kent's writing covers the lives and music of, predominantly, rock and roll musicians. His prose is laced with images of self-destruction and compassion, exploring the reality of being an artist in the late twentieth century.

He is a musician (guitar), and rehearsed with a group of musicians then using the name London SS, some of whom would go on to form early British punk bands such as The Damned and The Clash. He also played guitar with an early incarnation of the Sex Pistols. Kent's relationship with the punk scene was strained, particularly by one episode in which future Sex Pistol Sid Vicious and entourage member Jah Wobble (later bassist with Public Image Ltd) attacked Kent, then already a well-known music critic and ostensibly a symbol of the music industry, at an early gig at the 100 Club. Kent relates the incident in Johnny Rogan's book on rock management, Starmakers & Svengalis; in The Filth and the Fury, director Julien Temple's 2000 documentary of the Sex Pistols; in The Dark Stuff; in Jon Savage's book England's Dreaming; and in Apathy for the Devil.

Kent also had bad relations with the early punk incarnation of Adam & the Ants, starting with his NME review of the soundtrack album to Derek Jarman's film Jubilee in which Kent labelled Adam Ant a Nazi sympathiser on account of the featured song "Deutscher Girls". In retaliation, Adam sarcastically name-checked Kent in the song "Press Darlings" (which later appeared on the B-Side of the Ants' no.2 hit single "Kings Of The Wild Frontier" and on the US edition of the hit album of the same name) claiming that "If passion ends in fashion, then Nick Kent is the best dressed man in town..." In addition, then Ants guitarist Matthew Ashman assaulted and humiliated Kent with a potful of strawberry jam in the queue outside Camden's Music Machine venue one evening.[1]

Personal life

Kent currently lives in Paris with his wife, and contributes articles occasionally to the British and French press, in particular The Guardian.[2]


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