The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #126718   Message #2820133
Posted By: GUEST,matt milton
24-Jan-10 - 06:16 AM
Thread Name: Nick Drake - hype and reality
Subject: RE: Nick Drake - hype and reality
"In my experience, Nick didn't really catch the imagination of folk club types back in the late 60s early 70s. One could hear lots of songs by his contemporaries in the clubs, Ralph McTell, Bert Jansch, Al Stewart, John Martyn and even the odd song by Roy Harper; and, of course, Richard Thompson's songs were everywhere. It could be argued that Nick's songs were more personal, less universal, and - certainly on first hearing - less catchy. I could easily - and very enjoyably - enter the song world of Al Stewart, but not so Nick's. I also had trouble with the "voice" that Nick used. To my ears, it didn't ring true and certainly didn't sound right coming from the 1960s university educated, middle-class person that he was."

Ditto my post above - when I hear Nick Drake's voice, I hear a 1960s university educated, middle-class person! Kind of find it strange anyone would hear anything else.

But, yes, I can see why Nick Drake wouldn't have appealed to folk clubs in the late 60s, early 70s. Actually, Drake would probably have done better if he'd been in LA at that time. The Laurel Canyon folk-ish singer-songwriter scene was a lot closer to what Drake was doing: James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, CSN&Y et al.

In the Drake biography, the descriptions of his solo folk club gigs sound hellish. He clearly wasn't a "performer" at all: he just couldn't talk to people. Patrick Humphries suggests in the book, as many contemporary eyewitnesses he interviews do too, that it would have been much better if he'd been given a band. You can imagine that, if he could have gone out on the road with a bassist or a percussionist, it would have been a whole different ballgame.