When he’s consciously “English”, at least he doesn’t jump around telling us so, falling over himself in his enthusiasm to inform us how removed he is from those nasty, quasi-black-American rock’n’roll johnnies of the last 15 years, unlike pretty much everyone who was idolised in the sixth form and university common rooms of Britain in 1972 (when Drake was recording in fully deserved obscurity). The tentative praise must end there, and for good.

For Drake was *above* everyone and everything around him, and to understate things he never kept quiet about it. His entire musical output is full of self-centred, piteous whinges about his isolation from the uncaring world outside, how wonderful things had been back in the innocent 50s in his affluent home, innoculated in the heart of middle England. Try “Do you feel like a remnant of something that’s past? Do you find things are moving a little too fast” (“Hazy Jane I”)? Or how about “Forgotten while you’re here / Remembered for a while / A much updated ruin / From a much outdated style / Life is but a memory / Happened long ago” (the odiously claimed “eulogy” of “Fruit Tree”). And for a real treat, try the cringemakingly outdated rural traveller / loner / doubtless former servant analogies of “Poor Boy”: “Never sing for my supper / I never help my neighbour / Never do what is proper / For my fair share of labour / I’m a poor boy / And I’m a rover (!) / Count your coins and throw them over my shoulder / I may grow older / Nobody knows / How cold it grows / And nobody sees / How shaky my knees” … excuse me, I think I just coughed up a lung after typing out that last line.

This is pop music, Nick. It changes fast, it’s cut and thrust, it’s *modern*. If you feel left behind by the pace of the modern world, join a Tapist monastery. Why is it that this man’s exaggeratedly distant, I-want-to-slow-everything-down Romanticism is regarded with such reverence while Ian Anderson’s minstrel-in-the-gallery shtick is universally laughed at, when in truth they’re both as cowardly, reactionary and fearful of modernity (while I’m at it, fuck knows what Drake would have made of the early ’00s) as each other? Don’t believe what you read about the astonishing range and variety of Drake’s lyricism – it’s the same themes of rivers, sunsets, lost boys, lost love, life, death, with perhaps just a few more songs about sad young middle-class girls on “Bryter Layter” (the album – or specifically, the two “Hazey Jane” songs therein – which invented Belle and Sebastian, so that’s another reason to hate him) and the much-vaunted “bleakness” creeping in more on “Pink Moon”. As for the “last songs” on “Time Of No Reply”, they’re even worse, especially the blues cliche of “Black Eyed Dog”.

Drake’s virtual canonisation since his death in 1974, thousands of erstwhile prog fans kissing his grave weeping “We were wrong, we were wrong, how *could* we have thought Emerson, Lake and Palmer were more talented than you, please forgive us” is a sign of one of the great global cultural malaises of the last 25 years, the cult of the young boy who Died Too Soon, up there on his pedestal, validated forever, impossible to question, as untouchable as the Queen Mother. It’s a sad story from a culture that was still, just, above that pathetic level in the early 70s. Time for the myth to be broken: Nick Drake was a just-below-average mediocre melancholic post-hippy singer-songwriter, nothing more, nothing less. The pay-off line just has to be the sort of catchy slogan which enrages the man’s gatekeepers – Tanya Says: Drake = Fake.