Nico in Manchester: ‘She loved the architecture and the heroin’

She had been a top model, then sang with the Velvet Underground, and in 1981 Nico moved to Manchester. Her friends there share their touching, alarming memories of a true bohemian An imperious blond German ex-model with a voice once described as like a body falling through a window, Nico was already extraordinary by the time she leant her vocals to songs including Femme Fatale and All Tomorrows Parties on the Velvet Undergrounds classic first album, produced by Andy Warhol. Soon after that, she embarked on a solo career, and made records, such as The Marble Index, that were even darker, with despairing lyrics and a wheezing harmonium accompanying Nicos Teutonic tones. By this time, she was no longer blond …