Today's Music News
Stars pay homage to folk legend17 May 2009 - Birmingham Town Hall was packed to the rafters last night as a whole host of stars took to the stage to pay tribute to Nick Drake.
The evening was curated by the singer's manager and producer, Joe Boyd, aided by arranger Robert Kirby.
Performers included Robyn Hitchcock, Camille O’Sullivan, Martha Wainwright, Graham Coxon, Beth Orton, Camille O’Sullivan, Stuart Murdoch and Vashti Bunyan.
They performed and paid homage to Drake's albums, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Later and Pink Moon.
Part of Birmingham Town Hall’s English Originals festival, the tribute to Drake was even more poignant since his home was just a few miles up the road in Tanworth In Arden.
Dreamy and evocative
Playing under the watchful eyes of Boyd and Robert Kirby, each performer gave their hearts and bared their souls in a way that would have made Drake proud. Delicate and intricate, Vashti Bunyan’s take on Which Will was magical, whilst Hitchcock, Coxon and Murdoch’s performances were essentially perfect copies of the singer's original songs.
Dreamy and evocative, sad, yet never depressing, songs were given new energy as Wainwright and Orton struck the right balance between power and fragility on Things Behind The Sun and Pink Moon.
The first half of the show culminated in a rousing and uplifting version of Poor Boy from Bryter Later which saw Harper Simon taking the lead, backed by Wainwright, Orton, O’Sullivan and Kate St John. It was truly captivating.
The second half of the show was even more intimate. Kirby’s band weaved a beautiful version of Northern Sky, while Hitchcock and Coxon combined their not insignificant talents on wonderful working of Free Ride. From here on in the show got better and better.
Standing the test of time
The encore saw everyone on stage for Voice From The Mountain and a standing ovation followed. Despite the full house, Birmingham Town Hall still felt intimate and the capacity audience all went home with great big smiles on their faces.
The songs of Nick Drake stand the test of time and are still poignant 35 years on. One can only imagine the greatness that the singer would have achieved had he lived.