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Baker's Dozen

A Document in Time: Neil Halstead Of Slowdive's Baker's Dozen
Joe Clay , May 3rd, 2017 10:11

With Slowdive reformed and about to release their fourth album (as well as playing Field Day and Roskilde), Neil Halstead tells Joe Clay about the gateway albums that influenced him the most. Photo by Ingrid Pop.


Nick Drake – Way to Blue: An Introduction To Nick Drake
This is a compilation of his stuff, but it's not really a best of. I bought it in the early 1990s. His name would always crop up in reviews I'd read in NME and Melody Maker, even in Slowdive reviews. It's got such an amazing atmosphere and his voice and guitar playing are incredible. He was my introduction to folk music. It's really pastoral. The string arrangements were beautiful. It fed into everything I like. It's melancholic. I didn't quite know what he was talking about at time, but now I'm older I get it more. There's a depth to it that you don't fully appreciate, but you're attracted to it. I've read all the books about him but you still don't get a real sense of the man. He's so ethereal, wispy; even when his family are talking about him. It's really interesting how he's still so unknown. 

It's insanely original. The way he plays guitar – no one plays guitar like that. People talk about Bert Jansch, Nick Drake and John Martyn as the big folk guitarists. They all have their own style, but I think Nick Drake has the most original style out of all of them. There's some of the blues in what he does, but there's also something classical. His records sound timeless. You don't listen to them and go, 'Ah this was recorded in the 50s or 60s or 70s – it could have been recorded at any point up to when I heard it, apart from maybe the 80s because then it would have been funked up and had saxophones all over it! 

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