May 20, 2017

Nick Drake and the Third Ear Band at Cousins: strange cross of destiny!

The place, the legendary Les Cousins Club at London Greek Street, 42. The date: April, 4th (or 11th) 1970.
That evening (7:30-11:00 pm) Nick Drake supported the Third Ear Band... such a strange and unique cross of destiny!

Unfortunately, apart these little paper cut, most likely from "Melody Maker" (thanx Mirco!), no memories/pictures/recordings of the event seem to be available. 
Authoritative sources as the recent wonderful book edited by Nick's sister with an extensive list of concerts ("Remembered for a while",Little Brown & C, 2014) or the best biography ever published ("Nick Drake. The biography" by Patrick Humphries, Bloomsbury 1997) have no detailed infos about the gig. Also Glen and Paul in the '80's remembered nothing about (having
wrote through the years books on Syd Barrett and Nick Drake, of course I asked them some memories about those my heroes...). Asking Carolyn Looker few days ago, she replied: "Glen's gig at Cousins was with Davey Graham, I cannot remember Nick Drake..."

Maybe someone in the Net could remember something more...

Les Cousins today
So we can only conjecture about the right date of the gig with the reference around. For example: on "Dreaming England" (Reaktion Books,London 2013) biographer Natham Wiseman-Trowse compiles a list of Drake's gigs reporting on the 1970 section: "Nick plays a regular Sunday night spot at Les Cousins in Soho - He is known to have played at least three shows supporting the Third Ear Band, John Martyn and John James..." (page 138)
A site devoted to Drake ( states Drake supported TEB in "Spring 1970", and in the same period he played at Cousins with Martyn and James.

On a  John Martyn Web site ( we can know he and Drake played at Cousins on April 18th, 1970. 
From the official John James Web site ( we read he played with Drake two times - on November 15th, 1969 and in August 1970... 
Asking him he replied: "Ciao Luca. Thank you for your message. I lived in London in the late 1960’s, and played many concerts and knew a lot of people, but not everybody!
The musicians of the Third Ear Band - I do not remember meeting them. I remember seeing the band name playing around London. But I do not remember sharing a concert with them. It is great to hear that the 3rd Ear had a reunion... I wish I could have a reunion with many musician friends...John Martyn, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn etc etc but they have all gone!!!
In fact even Andy Matheou (Matthews) who ran the Les Cousins club is dead now. I think Diana, Andy’s wife still has the original diaries.
You mention Nick Drake of course Nick died a long time ago. I will look up your blogspot:it is funny that you should write about this time, London 1960’s, because I just had a message that BGO Records are reissuing 4 of my albums,Transatlantic Records from this same time.
So grazi mille, Luca, for your message, sorry I cannot help you more.
Keep in touch
John James"

The door of Les Cousins
From the Third Ear Band chronology page of this Archive (read here), based mainly on Paul Minns' journal and lot of other sources, we know in April 1970 the band was working on the recording of "Third Ear Band" and from the 20th it was on tour in Europe (France, Holland, Germany); so possible dates could be the 4th or the 11th of April... but who can tells?!

A last curiosity about this quite surprising correlation is that on the "Melody Maker" issue of July 29th, 1969 printed in the same page there was the reviews of Drake's "Five Leaves Left" and TEB's "Alchemy", "a demanding mixture of Eastern and European influences"...

Can you image an encounter more intriguing than this

no©2017 Luca Chino Ferrari (unless you intend to make a profit. In which case, ask first)   

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