Luke suggested that I write about my ever-increasing pre-occupation with painting my skin at gigs. I suppose if this post reveals anything about my personality (aside from my child-like hunger for attention) it’s how little encouragement I need to push something to the extreme.
It started with The Missing Lincolns set at Corinbank 2010. Luke was living in Cairns at the time so it was our first show in almost a year. Between that and the opportunity to play a big festival stage, I became obsessed with laying on some kind of arresting spectacle.
Without telling the other guys, I devised a fairly random costume concept, inspired by the character King Peacock from Alan Moore’s ‘Top Ten’ series. A phone call to Mum and a visit to Lincraft and my outfit quickly took shape. I can still remember the look on Luke’s face when, minutes before we took the stage, I threw a jar of yellow paint at Gleeson (our tirelessly dependable drummer) and asked him to rub me down. Gleeson took it in stride.
It’s funny to think of now, but I was terrified. I’d never been shirtless in public before! That said, it was the day that I discovered the freedom of extreme costuming. I wasn’t just Nick anymore- I was King Lincoln, Harbringer Of The Sun, and the only logical behaviour was to rule the stage like a king.
It was a few months after that The Last Prom started to take shape as a band/theatre project. Once I realised I was going to be performing as the Antichrist fronting The Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse, the door was opened for some fairly ‘statement-y’ looks.
2012 involved a full theatrical season of Last Prom shows, along with a resurgence of The Missing Lincolns in the wake of Luke’s return. People were still talking about the Corinbank show, so to my mind there was no room to go backwards as far as on-stage presentation.
Bodypaint has largely given way to coloured hairspray, which has proven to be a quicker process both in application and removal. With so many gigs and promotional shoots, it felt like I spent half of last year either painted or washing paint off. Many was the time I’d be halfway through a workday and have a client point out where I’d missed a spot.
Expect me to take things to an even more ludicrous extreme in 2013, and not just in the bodypaint stakes. I’d like to finish with a shout out to the talented visual artists who have stooped to working with the blank canvas that is myself, particularly Julia Johnson and George Edwards. For more of their work, watch this face!