Nikki Sudden
Nikki Sudden at Cake Shop in New York City on 24 March 2006.
Background information
Birth nameAdrian Nicholas Godfrey
Born(1956-07-19)19 July 1956
London, England
Died26 March 2006(2006-03-26) (aged 49)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician, rock critic
InstrumentsGuitar, vocals
Years active1977–2006
LabelsCreation, Glass, UFO, Glitterhouse
Associated actsJacobites, R.E.M., Swell Maps

Adrian Nicholas Godfrey (19 July 1956 – 26 March 2006),[1] known as Nikki Sudden, was a prolific English singer-songwriter and guitarist. He co-founded the post-punk band Swell Maps with his brother, Epic Soundtracks, while attending Solihull School in Solihull.[2]


Nikki Sudden was born Adrian Nicholas Godfrey in London, England.[1] The main influences on Sudden's music were artists such as T. Rex, the Rolling Stones, the Faces, Bob Dylan and Johnny Thunders. Following the break-up of Swell Maps in 1980, he started a solo career and also released records with Dave Kusworth as the Jacobites.[3]

Sudden collaborated with Mike Scott and Anthony Thistlethwaite of the Waterboys, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, The Golden Horde as 'The Last Bandits', Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, Rowland S. Howard, Jeremy Gluck of the Barracudas, Ian McLagan of Small Faces and the Faces, Phil Shoenfelt, Al DeLoner of Midnight Choir, Tom Ashton of the March Violets, members of R.E.M. and Sonic Youth. The Jacobites' tune "Pin Your Heart" was covered on the Lemonheads' 1997 single "The Outdoor Type".[citation needed] Post Swell Maps, Sudden formed and recorded as Bingo Little with Andy Bean and Cally Callomon.

Sudden also wrote for a number of music magazines, such as Spex, INTRO, Mojo, the Birmingham-based fanzine Waxstreet Dive, and Bucketfull of Brains. At the time of his unexpected death, he was writing his autobiography, as well as a history of the Wick (a house in Richmond, London once owned by Ronnie Wood, currently owned by Pete Townshend), and was due to perform in London on 29 March 2006. Sudden died from a heart attack[1] at the age of 49 after performing at the Knitting Factory.[4]


In September 2013, it was announced that The Numero Group would reissue a series of Sudden's albums on vinyl, with Waiting on Egypt, The Bible Belt, Jacobites, and Robespierre's Velvet Basement scheduled for November 2013 release, and releases Texas, Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc scheduled for February 2014.[5]


Swell Maps




The Jacobites


Compilations and live




Compilations, live, reissues


Nikki Sudden and Freddy Lynxx

with Freddy Lynxx

with Ghost Train




  1. ^ a b c "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2006 January To June". Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  2. ^ Cartwright, Garth (3 April 2006). "Obituary: Nikki Sudden". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2008.
  3. ^ Biodata,; accessed 15 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Nikki Sudden obituary". 26 March 2006. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  5. ^ Adams, Gregory. "Nikki Sudden Treated to Vinyl Reissue Campaign". Exclaim!. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  6. ^ The Last Bandit (2000 album),; accessed 15 August 2015.