A star-studded tribute to legendary West Midlands singer-songwriter Nick Drake forms the centrepiece of this year’s English Originals folk weekend at Birmingham Town Hall.
Curated by his legendary producer Joe Boyd, with arrangements by Robert Kirby, the evening concert features a who’s-who of contemporary singers – Martha Wainwright, Graham Coxon, Beth Orton, Vashti Bunyan, Robyn Hitchcock, Camille O’Sullivan and Jack Steadman – backed by a house band including guitarist Neil MacColl and jazz pianist Zoe Rahman.
The evening concert on Saturday, May 16, celebrates Drake’s status as one of the most influential acoustic artists of the last 50 years, inspiring a whole generation of English artists including Radiohead, Paul Weller and Coldplay.
Describing Nick Drake as the ultimate English Original, Joe Boyd said: “When I first heard Nick’s songs, not only was I astounded by how beautifully he sang and played, but I dreamed of getting other great singers to perform them. This concert is a chance to see some of that dream fulfilled. There will also be surprises for those interested in what lies behind Nick’s music.”
The weekend, which runs from May 15-17, also features Joe Boyd and guests in conversation and an afternoon screening of Jeroen Berkvens’ film A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake, which has been described as more a poem than a documentary.
Other performances during the weekend include critically-acclaimed band Rachel Unthank and the Winterset with special guests Spiers & Boden (Friday, Town Hall) as well as a second appearance for poster boy of folk, Seth Lakeman, with friends including the 2009 Radio 2 Folk Musician of the Year Tom McConville (Sunday, Symphony Hall).
* Full details from the Symphony Hall/Town Hall box office on 0121 780 3333.