Fairport Convention was in its early stages when guitarist and vocalist Simon Nicol agreed to join the budding British folk-rock band. Except for brief periods from 1972 to 1976 and 1978 to 1985, Nicol has provided the sole link to the group's first incarnation. Although he was initially overshadowed by the band's founding lead guitarist Richard Thompson, Nicol has assumed the band's leadership since Thompson's departure in 1971. His warm vocal tones and solid rhythm guitar playing continue to provide Fairport Convention's signature sound.
In addition to touring and recording with Fairport Convention, Nicol has recorded with a lengthy list of British and American folk artists including Art Garfunkel, Beth Nielson Chapman, Al Stewart, John Martyn, and Julie Covington. Since the early '70s, he has balanced his involvement with Fairport Convention with performances and recordings with the more traditional Albion Country Band.
Nicol's debut solo album, Before Your Time, released in 1986, was followed by Consonant Please Carol in 1992. He also provided the music for a video, Singing Games for Children. Nicol toured with ex-Fairport Convention fiddler Dave Swarbrick in the early '80s.