NIGEL Clark is having a dilemma.

The frontman of Dodgy is coming to the realisation that his band no longer lives up to its name. When he, Mathew Priest and Andy Miller originally formed the indie pop group it was a reflection of their early 20s lifestyle.

Nigel said: “What do you think when you’re 21 or 22 and living in a house in west London like The Young Ones drinking beer, smoking and having no job? What are you? You’re dodgy.”

When the quartet found success in the Britpop era with their double platinum-selling album Free Peace Sweet they then enjoyed the contrast between their name and the general perception of the arts scene as being a bit haughty and image conscious.

But two decades have since passed, middle age has crept in and dad-of-two Nigel – like his core audience – finds himself at a very different time in his life.

The 50-year-old is anything but dodgy.

“In a way with Dodgy we’re a ‘family band’,” added Nigel.

“For some parents our songs were the soundtrack of their youth. Some have even said they met at a Dodgy gig and now their children have been brought up on our music.

“That is always really lovely and that family thing is really strong. I don’t even know if anyone’s ever said that in the music industry before. Bands might try to appeal to Mods, rockers or the grime scene but families? Not so much. Family rock by Dodgy. That’s our thing.”

Devoted Dodgy fans are also generally easy to spot – because of their tattoos.

Nigel said: “We’ve met people with Dodgy tattoos on their leg and chest. A lot of people have tattoos of lyrics too which is really lovely. If they feel that song has touched them in that way then why not?

“I’m not the one to say you shouldn’t tattoo yourself. Although there are some tattoos you shouldn’t have like faces of your ex-boyfriend on the back of your neck.”

Dodgy will be headlining Knutsford Music Festival with an acoustic show on Saturday, June 24, at St John’s Church.

Nigel added: “The atmosphere in churches is always really great acoustically and as a performer you’ve got this natural reverb which is a great help.

“There’s a dynamic you can get in churches which you can’t get in other venues so I’m looking forward to it. We haven’t done this sort acoustic gig before.

“The drummer is away so we’re doing a tour of just the three of us so Knutsford will be the first one. All three of us sing and I’ll probably bring a piano as well so we can embellish the songs in a new way.”

Dodgy sold more than a million records worldwide and enjoyed 12 top 40 hits, including Staying Out For The Summer and Good Enough, which peaked at number four in the charts.

The band have continued to release albums since reforming nine years ago including 2012’s Stand Upright In A Cool Place and last year’s What Are We Fighting For. But Nigel said the Knutsford show would see the group dipping into the archives.

He said: “We’ll try and bring in a couple of really old songs because we had one of those funny careers where we did three albums before we made it. So we have a lot of songs both pre-success and post-success. There’ll also be a few covers of songs by bands that have been inspirational to us over the years.”

Nigel famously left Dodgy when the band was at the height of its success in the late 90s. He told Weekend why he fell out of love with the music business.

Nigel added: “I’d been with the band for 10 years, I’d just had two children. My son was born in 1995 and Good Enough was written for him. I sort of felt when that got to the top five in the charts I’d achieved most things.

“I hadn’t achieved going to America because we were never released there which was a big bane for me. There was a big court case looming with the record label over that and I just got fed up with it all.

“I was fighting for everything and I just wanted to spend the time with my kids. After that it shook my confidence and it felt if I was doing it just for money it would be for the wrong reasons. It caused a big rift between me and the band but I was the one writing the songs and fronting the band.”

Nigel went from being a mainstay in the charts to taking day jobs wherever he could find them.

He said: “It was really weird. The worst thing you can be is famous and skint. We like that in this country. In some bizarre way we like that we can build people up to the height of fame and then just drop them and watch them fall.

“They do it with celebrities all the time. I didn’t like being famous in the first place. I was ok with it but it wasn’t something that drove me.

“You have a job and a career and the next thing you know you’re taking your fork lift truck licence. I was still keeping my hand in music so I learnt to live with it.”

But Nigel then had a ‘life’s too short’ wake-up call when Dodgy’s lighting technician Andy Moore died of a brain tumour.

He added: “He said going on tour with us were the best days of his life and he meant it. Those sorts of things made us think more warmly about it all because before that we’d all got tired of one another.

“We’d loved each other, hated each other, got upset with each other, got drunk with each other, got sober with each other, failed with each other and succeeded with each other and so we kind of ran out of things to do with each other.”

It became a ‘draw a line in the sand’ moment.

Nigel said: “Now we’re looking forward to doing new things because we’ve got all those things out the way. So we are doing it for our pleasure and we all feel we’ve got freedom and a voice in the band “I think we’ve been together now for the same amount of time as we had the first time. We’re a lot gentler to each other now. We’ve matured but we’re still a proper band.

“That’s a good thing. We’re not a bunch of session musicians singing the songs of Dodgy. We still get off on each other’s company.”

  • Dodgy perform at Knutsford Music Festival on Saturday, June 24. Tickets are £12.50 or £15 for an adult and child. Visit