Saturday, 23 October 2010

Way To Blue - The Songs of Nick Drake at The Sage, Gateshead

MELANCHOLIC English songwriter Nick Drake released three albums in the early 1970s,
to critical acclaim, but little commercial success.

He died, aged 26, of an accidental overdose at his Warwickshire home in Tanworth-in-Arden in 1974, a depressed and isolated figure.

Like the tragic Romantic poet John Keats, Drake's fame has been wholly posthumous, and a growing army of fans and acolytes keep his musical flame alive.

Way To Blue was curated by Drake's producer Joe Boyd and featured not only a fine string section, but some of the best interpreters of the tragic singer's music.

Highlights included a rousing Poor Boy, with Teddy Thompson on lead vocals, a stunning Time Has Told Me by Krystle Warren and the wonderfully blue-eyed soul voice of Scritti Politti front man Green Gartside on Fruit Tree, arguably Drake's greatest song.

With the added ingredient of legendary bassist Danny Thompson - who played on Drake's albums - the whole show was a moving, meticulous homage to a great English songwriter.

The only downside - and almost essentially Drake-like in its melancholy - was that the main hall at The Sage was only half-full.



  1. I have adored the whole of Nick Drake's work for many years, but I caught the TV showing of this homage when it was in London earlier this year and apart from Green Gartside and the Thompsons, I didn't think it was worth the Sage's ticket price, (taking into account these cash-strapped times, and that it took place in the same week that notice of redundancy was issued to 590,000 civil servants, many of whom work in our region). Sorry to say...

    Only my opinion, bien sur.

    Incidentally, I visited Keats' house in Hampstead last week - only my second visit ever sadly, it too was practically empty. Still very atmospheric.

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  3. hi! i didn´t know about nick drake and so thks to this post i discovered his music and lyrics, thks a lot for sharing this :)