Way To Blue – The Songs of Nick Drake.

Unable to rock up to the gig as planned due to a diary clash (OK it was my fault – I didn’t put in the diary) and finding myself in London seeing other ageing alumni of the Ecole Superieure de Commerce in Reims to celebrate the 50th ( yes count them ) of Bernice Sweeney, the role of gig correspondent falls to IDS…. ladieeees and gentlemeehhn…

** Dearest reader, please be aware that this review has been written by a rank amateur wordsmith… please do not be too judgmental.

In the unfortunate absence of Mr. & Mrs. RHC, myself (IDS) and Mrs. IDS took the bold step of attending the Nick Drake tribute “Way to Blue” at the Warwick Art Centre sans escort. The venue itself was a triumph of ample leg spaced seating and beautifully balanced acoustics. A fab start to an evening which promised plenty!

It is important that you understand, at this stage, that I have been “like a bottle of pop” for weeks at the mere prospect of this gig… being a massive Scott Matthews “groupie” (as RHC so delicately puts it), the promise of the combination of fine tunes coupled with the occasional appearance of Mr. Matthews was a treat not to be missed.

We took our seats; not exactly front, but nicely central and waited with anticipation…

First up, Robyn Hitchcock performing Parasite – personally, and contrary to other, more/better “informed” opinion (The Independent), we felt he set a level for the evening that in ordinary circumstances would have been easy to surpass. However, the now almost iconic Green Gartside failed, and even Scott Matthews although providing a much needed breath of fresh air, seemed somehow removed at times.

Thankfully, Kirsty Almeida, Lisa Hanningham and Krystle Warren provided moments of inspiration; each delivering an individual, beautiful homage to the late and great Mr. Drake.

During the interval Scott Matthews was gracious enough to sign my program “Big love Scott Matthews X”, arrrr *sigh*.

Round two, also seemed to pass me by – Vashti Bunyan provided moments of painful amusement performing a rendition of a Molly Drake tune, but probably not as exciting to find that Crossroad Motel’s Nicola Freeman aka. Gabrielle Drake was seated three rows away from us!

Having said all this the “band” driven by Kate St John and including the incredible Danny Thompson on Bass were completely outstanding and at times mesmerizing.

A much deserved final word must go to the “ *?!*ing woman” seated behind us – if you must tap your feet/kick chairs, please make sure that you are listening to the same music as everyone else, and, surely every mention of Nick Drake’s name can not merit a “Whoop”.

IDS over and out **

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