nick drake

just watched the nick drake tribute gig on bbc four (available to watch on the iplayer till sunday 25th). i always approach such things with extreme caution and (to me anyway) drake is one of those people whose songs resist interpretation by anyone else. this was a mixed bag. the musical arrangements were mostly tasteful and at times pretty inventive. when the latter came together with a decent vocal performance the results were pretty good. lisa hannigan went all pj harvey on black eyed dog and probably topped the lot. green gartside (who's basically drake on helium) and harper simon (to my surprise) came close. the rest ranged from ho-hum to, i'm not sure...misguided would be the kindest way of putting it. this also goes for robyn hitchcock's matching polka dot stratocaster and shirt. drake's songs fall apart under the weight of vocal overemoting; anything that sounds remotely american is going to finish them off for a start. but - and this is a big but...there was a lot of danny thompson, which is always a good thing.

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