From Warrington, England, we find classic rock trio HAVOC51 who are: Steve Nixon – guitars and lead vocals, Antony Nixon – bass and backing vocals, and drummer Paul Smith.
As a kid guitarist and singer Steve Nixon had neighbours who had just got one of those record players that came in a suitcase and some 45’s. As soon as he heard the rawness of the tracks from Quo, Purple, Sabbath, and Zeppelin, the young musician knew that’s what he wanted to do. "I was spoiled with genius everywhere and burned through turntables learning it," he says.
Drummer Paul Smith's route was a little different. He grew up listening to anything from Adam and the Ants to The Who and Zeppelin. Always wanting to try drums he studied local bands as well as his heroes at the big festivals in the eighties and nineties. Paul then got his first chance at the age of eighteen buying his first drum kit, joined his first band and was gigging at nineteen and has built up a fantastic reputation since then.
Bassist Antony Nixon comes from a very musical family, so it was inevitable that he would play an instrument. Going from piano to guitar but never settled. On hearing 'Hysteria' by Muse he was hooked on bass and knew that was where his passion lies.
Paul brings his influence from the Bonham’s and Moon’s of this world and this just blends in to what we do completely," he explains to me. Antony is very much into Chris Wolstenholme from Muse, and you can hear that clearly when the bass is prominent. "When he dug deeper into the bass you can hear touches of John Paul Jones in “Serenity” and “No Way”. Who knows the next album may have some Flea stylings or from something influenced the mighty Stu Hamm."
All the guys in the band work very very hard and they are all family men so that takes a lot of their time up. "One thing that binds us is we are all massive Rugby League fans. Coming from Warrington it’s embedded in you from an early age, playing and watching. Antony progressed to the team’s academy. We have been very lucky in that we have built a relationship with the club and we were the first band to play live on the pitch to 15,000 two years ago. We still play there a couple of times a year for their beer festivals etc..," he smiles.
Havoc51 came to fruition three years ago with Antony and Steve along with a different drummer who was the son of a friend. They did small shows throughout the UK but never really pushed things. The turning point was when the band entered the 'Hard Rock Live' competition and came second by one point in three hundred. That gave the lads the belief and confidence that the way they play and the strength of their song writing were good enough for the bigger stage and they then decided to push this as far as possible. "Sadly, that meant losing our original drummer and Paul has stepped in perfectly and we’re sounding fuller and tighter than ever," says Nixon.
.The live shows are going really well for the chaps. "When we’re 'self-sufficient' which is when we turn up with our sound and our lighting etc., We invested in giving a great experience when you come to see us. Having said that we’ve concentrated on the smaller festivals this Summer and that’s a different experience entirely. It gives us focus on how to make the best use of our time slot and push ourselves to build our fan base. They can be a lot more fun when you have more space to go crazy and relax into it. We want to gain experience on these bigger stages and hone our craft. It’s an upward spiral to us, We do better, audiences react better, we feed off that and they feed off us," he explains to me." The band's main focus is to get the word out regarding 'Bourbon Ramblings', and to enjoy the festivals this Summer. "It’s likely that we put together a small UK based tour for the Autumn and re-group at the end of the year to plan our direction. We have a lot of music written and it maybe we will get that down in the Winter. There are plans to do a couple of videos for tracks on 'Bourbon Ramblings' and we have meetings planned with the production team to plan those out. Obviously, we want to do much more in the next year and we will be speaking to our contacts to do a lot more shows and bigger shows in 2019. The album has been picked up by a few European radio stations, particularly in France and Spain so we’d love to expand and convert more 'havocaholics' on the continent.
Hard Rock Finalists
Headlined the Blood Bikes Festival in Manchester
Played to 15,000 at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington and repeated gigs since
Booked to tour the Great British Food Festivals – 6 venues throughout the UK
Headlined the West Houghton Summer Rock Festival
Picked up by Real XS Radio as a “Future Classic” band
Headlined the “Make some noise” Festival for Global radio
Played Phabstock on Llandudno beach
“Charmsfest” festival 3 years running
Bourbon ramblings released , played on 80+ radio stations globally and featured in #magazines in the USA, UK & Canada
“Bullfest” in Standish
Headlines one of the Wigan Live” festivals Aug
“Glaston-bury BURY” Festival 2 years running
Lone Wolf MCC rally Staffs 2 years running
Hybrids MCC festival
Antony plays bass, detuned bass, 12 string guitar and does backing vocals.
He is highly qualified in music performance and is a qualified sound engineer. Antony is in demand both as a session/dep basist and for his skills behind the mixing desk. He has also performed in tribute bands and played Beatles shows in the Cavern Club
Paul plays a number of different kits, including a custom H51 kit, electric kits, processors and a coujon.
All these styles and influences blend perfectly with the mix of gigs we do from originals to rock, to indie, pop and oldies. Pauls experience and talent means we can tailor every gig to the audience in front of us.
Steve has over 30 years experience as a rock guitarist, and is an accomplished vocalist/guitarist. He comes with a reputation as one of the best guitarists on the circuit.
You will see at the shows and on this site that Steve has an unusul collection of guitars. As well as the familiar instruments Steve uses a pink rubber Ibanez and the custom made "Havocaster" at most gigs.