ONE of the best-known faces on the local live music scene, Nick Buckle passed away suddenly this month.

Nick’s musical partner of more than 40 years, Tim Holt recalls meeting him in a dingy room above the Pembroke Arms in Bournemouth in 1972.

Bonding over a shared passion for Soul music and American bands such as Little Feat and Steely Dan, before long they had moved into a shared house where Nick met his future wife Linda.

(Tim also met his spouse-to-be there – Nick’s sister Sally.) By 1974 they had formed their first band Skydog, which was soon renamed The Freshly Layed Band.

More than a thousand people attended Freshly Layed’s fare-well gig in 1979 at Bournemouth Town Hall, just a few months after they had reached the finals of the Melody Maker talent show at the Roundhouse in London judged by Bob Geldof, John Martyn and Justin Hayward.

Regrouping as The Outsiders, Nick and Tim with Richard Furter and Tris Stevens, played the local circuit for two years before parting company.

Nick, who was born in July 1949, then joined Ronnie Mayor’s Biz International, playing on the 1982 single Stay True, which evolved into Après Ski.

By 1985 Nick was ready to go back to his Soul roots and rejoined Tim. One rehearsal at Holdenhurst Village Hall and The Agency was formed.

“Amazingly it worked and has done for the last 28 years,” says Tim. “It’s an incredible achievement.”

Nick went back behind a full drum kit in the horn-free side project, The Secret Agency, with Tim, Andy and Richard; and, only last year, joined his son Robbie in The Three Apostles with singer Andy.

Outside of music Nick was a keen fisherman and ran the successful Wimborne-based engineering company, Robet CNC Milling.

He is survived by Linda, his loving wife of 33 years, and their children Lisbeth and Robbie.

“Their loss must be unbearable,” says Tim.

“I can only get comfort by telling myself that I wouldn’t have missed a day of it. As for the band, we will always remain brothers in arms. As friends, it is we who are the lucky ones for having known him.”

Nick’s funeral is at Poole Crematorium at noon tomorrow. No flowers please.