Slow Dancer – “Poor Boy” (Nick Drake Cover)

Slow Dancer – “Poor Boy” (Nick Drake Cover)

Last year we let Slow Dancer’s sophomore record, In A Mood, pull us into one too. Now the Australian project fronted by Simon Okely is lending its chops to a covers compilation celebrating the life of Nick Drake. The comp will be released on CD with the latest issue of Mojo in honor of what would have been Drake’s 70th birthday, and Okely took on the song “Poor Boy” off of Drake’s 1971 album Bryter Layter.

On the original recording, Drake plays with a bossa nova influence. Each instrument and rhythm is so clear and shares importance — not that a saxophone feature could ever go unnoticed. Slow Dancer’s version differs. There’s no bossa nova, no piano, no saxophone, and he speeds the tempo up a tick or two. Slow Dancer’s interpretation pays homage to Drake’s lyrical clarity and precision, two features that make him so immensely popular years after his death. Here’s what Okely had to say about it:

As young teen growing up in suburban Perth, I stumbled across Nick through old copies of Mojo magazine my uncle gave me at Christmas time. Nick had an acne pitted oval face with heavy set brown eyes and long hair that hung like a curtain over his face. He liked suits. I liked suits. He looked weird. I looked weird.

His songs were the warped, crooked versions of songs I was already listening to in my parents pop centric record collection. Nick was not pop. He was more accessible, more vulnerable, more connected. His music transported me from the weird looking outsider, to the insider of a whole new artistic world. He’s music is one of the most lasting saviours in my life. Interpreting his song “Poor Boy” for Mojo was a full circle moment for me.

Listen below.


01 Joan Shelley – “Time Has Told Me”
02 Vashti Bunyan And Gareth Dickson – “The Thoughts Of Mary Jane”
03 Bill Ryder-Jones – “Pink Moon”
04 Field Music – “River Man”
05 The Saxophones – “Fruit Tree”
06 Bridget St. John – “Fly”
07 Judy Dyble And Andy Lewis – “Northern Sky”
08 Amber Arcades – “Which Will”
09 Villagers (3) – “Hazey Jane II”
10 Bill MacKay – “Cello Song”
11 Jim Ghedi – “Black Eyed Dog”
12 The Cairo Gang – “Voice From The Mountain / Hanging On A Star”
13 Slow Dancer Feat. Angie McMahon – “Poor Boy”
14 Lisa Hannigan And Luluc – “Saturday Sun”

02/25 – Brisbane QLD @ the Triffid w/ the Staves
02/27 – Melbourne VIC @ Howler w/ the Staves
02/28 – Melbourne VIC @ Howler w/ the Staves
03/01 – Wollongong NSW @ Rad Bar w/ Timberwolf
03/02 – Sydney NSW @ Landsdowne w/ Timberwolf
03/03 – Melbourne VIC @ the Evelyn Hotel (Pieater showcase)
03/06 – Sydney NSW @ the Basement w/ Emily King
03/08 – Brisbane QLD @ the Zoo w/ Emily King
03/9-11 – Launceston TAS @ Panama Festival
03/15 – Belgrave VIC @ Sooki w/ Timberwolf
03/16 – Melbourne VIC @ Northcote Social Club w/ Timberwolf
03/17 – Geelong VIC @ Workers Club w/ Timberwolf
03/26 – Sydney NSW @ the Factory Theatre w/ Hurray For The Riff Raff

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