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A Gift: Watch Donovan In Conversation & Unplugged
John Doran , January 12th, 2024 09:09

The Sunshine Superman and tQ Ed John Doran chew the fat in front of a live audience about colours, flowers, transcendental meditation and the ethical placation of children, before the former plays some songs and the latter shirks his duties as backing singer. Homepage photograph courtesy of Louise Mason

Late last year a small audience attending a warehouse event in East London found themselves in for an unexpected treat: a short but sweet impromptu unplugged gig by Donovan.

The Sunshine Superman himself was in town to speak about the lovingly assembled state51 Conspiracy reproduction/ reissue of his foundational acid folk box set of music, lyrics and poetry, A Gift From A Flower To A Garden (reviewed recently on this site by Ben Graham).

But none of the audience arrived expecting to see him to pick up a guitar and regale them with a handful of deep cuts and old favourites. At least, tQ Editor John Doran who was hosting the event wasn't expecting it, as you'll see from the look of critical anxiety crossing his face in real time as he is asked to join in on backing vocals with no prior warning.

The pair found time to talk about the long path to spiritual enlightenment, eschewing drugs for meditation, the magical practice of assembling a countercultural wunderkammer, larking about with George Harrison in India, kipping on the beaches of Cornwall and much more besides.

And for anyone who likes the idea of seeing Donovan play live in the future, he has some interesting news... just don't expect to see any staff members of this site invited to be part of his backing band any time soon!

Donovan and John Doran quite rightly in London, by Louise Mason

A Gift From A Flower To A Garden is available from The state51 Conspiracy