Chance encounters with booze, airport security, anti-war protests and ultimately, the law, brought them both back to square one and they now found themselves disillusioned enough to start over again. Having written and played together in many previous incarnations since meeting at nursery school in 1983, they decided to helm a new thing, adopting a more back-to-basics approach to songwriting, searching new depths within the imagery of their lyrics and proudly wearing their collective influences on their sleeves.
After a few gigs with then-drummer Al Ansermoz, they won the popular Singles Club competition staged by Exeter's Cavern Club. As prize-winners they got to record a three-track promo called Hick with ex-Muse engineer Rik Wolkers. It earned them the unsigned band of the week' accolade on Teletext's Indigo pages, the reviewer giving much cred to the band's ability to write a 'brutally efficient chorus', and generated a fair amount of buzz through good local and national reviews and word-of-mouth. Not long after Hick, and with new drummer Fergus B. Gordon behind the kit, Nixon started gigging in earnest, honing the 'good energy/bad energy' dynamic of their intense live show whilst notching up high-profile support slots with bands like The Datsuns, Art Brut, The Angry Amputees and nutty Japanese noiseniks: Polysics. Representatives from Parlophone, Polydor, Fiction Records, Island Records and Hackney's notoriously cool Toerag Studios had begun to contact the band.