Tributes after musician dies in Eastbourne

Tributes have been paid to a popular musician and songwriter who passed away suddenly in Eastbourne recently.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 3:59 pm
Nick Higton SUS-210605-125157001

Nick Higton collapsed and died at Holywell on the evening of April 20.

He had been a regular on the Eastbourne music circuit in recent years and regularly played at pubs and bars in the surrounding area.

Originally from Carshalton, Nick, whose older brother Rob lives in Ireland, performed in his own name and under the name of The Aultones.

His mother Joan, who lives in Eastbourne, said Nick had been walking from the town centre to Holywell when he collapsed with a suspected heart problem.

She said he had given up his job as an accounts manager five years ago and was pursuing his dream of becoming a musician.

“It’s so sad as he was about to become somebody,” said Joan.

“He was walking to lose the last few ounces so he would look as good as he could for his debut concert at Brighton’s Concord ll.

“Brighton council was giving musicians a chance to be filmed and be streamed on YouTube for a two hour gig. He was so excited as at last he could show what he could do at venues he performed at.

“In June 2015 he performed a solo set at Eastbourne’s Underground Theatre and a further 341 gigs followed including venues Cafe de Paris London, Epsom Playhouse, The Half Moon Putney, Hard Rock Cafe London, Eastbourne Bandstand and the Stage Door.”

He also recorded albums at Abbey Road Studios and won awards as an independent artist.

He wrote many of his own songs while in Eastbourne.

Joan added, “The man who collapsed that day had the whole world waiting for him and to find what a great musician he had become in so short a time. He was lucky he lived his dream at last. He was such a success and achieved so much.”

Tributes have poured in from venues where Nick played regularly.

A spokesperson at The Half Moon Putney said, “Such sad news as we hear of the passing of the wonderful Nick Higton of The Aultones. Nick was a regular performer at the Half Moon and a brilliant, professional and talented live artist with intelligent and well crafted songs. He was also a lovely, caring and modest bloke. Condolences to his family and friends. Rest in peace Nick.”

At Phoenix Cultural Centre in Woking a spokesperson said, “Nick came down to Woking to play several times as part of our Streetlive initiative and loved it. He always referred to the ‘good people’ or ‘lovely people’ of Woking in our conversations that were many over the years.

“He busked his own songs and ones to cheer people up as they went about their day but the public always bought all of his original music every time, appreciated his work and his friendliness. He always encouraged the project and we had discussed how much we were looking forward to him playing again when music started up and in our new venue.

“It has been such hard news to take to see someone so talented, genuine and lovely leave us so suddenly. RIP Nick from the good and lovely people of Woking – you made our town a happier place when you came here.”

On the Facebook page of Wallington Music Festival, a post said, “Nick was so encouraging, supportive and helpful to so many other local musicians, sharing his contacts and helping them get gigs and radio spots – and many, many messages and tributes have been left on his page from fellow musicians, friends, radio presenters, venue owners/landlords, all of whom are in shock and saddened by the loss of such a talented singer/songwriter.

“He was an all round lovely man who loved life, loved to perform, always had time for everyone and who has left us far too soon.

“We send our condolences and love to Nick’s family and friends.”