The Pearl Poets
A never-was, he obsessively recorded a fictitious, much more successful version of his musical career in a series of homemade scrapbooks called the Chronicles.
I hadn't had much to drink, I was feeling a little sentimental about my big brother. I had listened to his latest CD, a seasonal release called Caroles and Candles by his band the Pearl Poets. The Pearl Poets were a side project of Nik's in which he used the one-name pseudonym Mason. They were a moody folk trio- Mason, Mark, and Chris- but actually all of the parts were voiced by Nik. They all lived together at Tottenham Cottage in North London. They sang pristine Celtic-style layered harmonies, Nik managing all of this with his old Tascam four-track. The first Pearl Poets album, Sylvan Shine, was released in 1980. It was a concept electric folk record. All the songs on that album had sky-related titles: "Aurora Borealis," "Corona," "Fata Morgana," "Airglow," "Brocken Bow," etc. The second album, Suites for the Sweet, took ten years to produce. It featured original and traditional folk songs with electric arrangements. As I recall from the liner notes, Nik used lots of fiddle and unusual time signatures. I didn't think it was nearly as good as the first one. This current seasonal release of obscure traditional carols and a few original ballads was the third Pearl Poets album, and although the concept was a bit stretched at this point, it had been so many years since the last one it seemed fresh. A reunion Christmas album to cash in, I guess, was how he would describe it in the Chronicles.