Way To Blue: The Songs Of Nick Drake
A live performance to honour the man who hated performing live.
We've heard lots about how untimely the deaths were of Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain, but Nick Drake didn't even make it to 27 before he died of an overdose in 1974. The English singer, songwriter and musician has influenced countless contemporary artists, from The Cure's Robert Smith to Lucinda Williams, but during his short lifetime he failed to find a wide audience — in part due to a strong aversion to performing live or being interviewed.
36 years later, his original producer, Joe Boyd, has curated a concert evening to honour the hauntingly poetic works that Nick Drake left behind. 'Way to Blue' is not an assembly of a random bunch of performers but of the collaborators who were involved in those original live recordings. Those singing and reinterpreting his songs include psychedelic pop maverick Robyn Hitchcock, the very beautiful Vashti Bunyan (whose first LP sold even less copies than Drake's), and immensely talented soul singer Krystle Warren, with a few local performers expected to be added to the long line-up.
Drake's works only comprise around two hours of music, but those two hours are as addictive as they are intensely grim. Here are a couple of sonic and thanks to Drake's technically-adept legion of fans, visual highlights:
And here is Drake's 'Pink Moon' playing in a 2000 Volkswagen commercial — something we're sure Drake would never have seen coming:
Friday 11 November — Sydney Opera House
Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 November — Melbourne Recital Centre