Saturday, May 09, 2009

The Nick Drake Crowd





The Legendary Jeff Dexter invited me to 'A Celebration Of' Nick Drake's music at the Cockpit Theatre.

Nick Drake might be dead, but dying young immortalised him. The Cockpit Theatre was packed out with intellectual looking kids, happy to pay respect to their late icon. Personally, I think it's rather weird, there are so many tribute bands around these days emulating their dead heroes, but at least these bands attract a new generation of fans keeping the flames alive. And it's heart warming, that although Nick Drake failed to find an international audience during his lifetime, he is now regarded as the most influential singer-songwriter of the last half century.

Robert Kirby, the man who wrote, arranged and conducted the strings for Drake's music, most notably on 'Five Leaves Left' and 'Bryter Layter' was in the green room, alongside the musicians who peformed during the evening. Stuart Anthony, who performed with Harvey Lord was sensational (his album, 'House of Sun' is too). After he finished his set, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The other talented musicians on the Bill included Stuart Masters (my doggy bag included soothing tracks from his forthcoming album, 'One Last Look Around'), Helena C Carta, James Edge, My Luminaries, Revere, Gabby Young, Stephen Ellis and Jack Savoretti. I also encountered Ken Sinyard, the Arts editor of the BBC's Ariel staff newspaper. He wanted to know all about my old interview with Frank Zappa, as he is curently writing a tome about avatar rock stars for Omnibus.

Jeff Dexter was the real star of the show: he got on stage to give a nostalgic speech about his old friend Nick Drake (Jeff is on intimate terms with everyone in the Music Industry, alive and dead (including the late Marc Bolan and Jimi Hendrix). And, he actually displayed an historic acoustic guitar , lent to Drake for the photo on the front of the Bryter Layter album, which now belongs to the musician Nick Laird-Clowes. It was so heart warming to see all the musicians gingerly strum on the pricelesss old guitar backstage afterwards!
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