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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Danny Cavanagh website  Danny Cavanagh - A Place To Be [Strangelight Records - 2004]

In the dark days before Christmas Duncan Patterson's (ex-Anathema, Antimatter) Strangelight-label releases a limited edition of 1,000 copies of Anathema-guitarist Danny Cavanagh's tribute to singer-songwriter Nick Drake. The timing is perfect.

Like Anathema, Nick Drake's music wasn't very happy. Moreover: Nick was straight up depressive and eventually died of an overdose of the anti-depressant Tryptizol. Facts like these may cast a romantic shadow over his art, but the music still stands, even without these facts. Warm and melancholic sounds to suit these grey skies and long nights in December.

Danny's brother Vincent is Anathema's leadsinger who always has stunned the listeners with his emotional performance, even when he did deathgrunts back in the day. Of course those aren't present anymore and his melodic and dramatic voice has a prominent place in Anathema's music. Danny did claim his place though, on an occasional song where he took the lead and during the last liveshow I caught his voice pleasantly surprised me. It seems to run in the family.

I wasn't very familiar with Drake's music. I had a vague idea of what it must've sounded like and with this release coming up I checked some out. I saw my expectations pretty much confirmed: warm and melancholic, folky and a strong sense of the early seventies. Sometimes touching upon the blues, like the wailing voice in Black Eyed Dog. A Place To Be maintains the warm melancholy for sure, but also is even more stripped. No cello or bongo's or other 'lush orchestration' like in the originals, just voice and guitar.

Danny's tribute is so naked, so direct, that it actually transcends any possible criticism. Even subtle colouring like the 'Frippertronic'-like processed guitars in River Man can't take away the impression of a guy sitting in your room playing his music. A man with his voice and his acoustic guitar, singing songs that are dear to him. Only a heartless bastard would have the audacity to complain about anything really.

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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