Now she’s safe from the darkness
She’s safe from its clutch
Now nothing can harm her
At least not very much
When the great Kevin Ayers died on February 18th, I checked YouTube to see if there was a vintage live clip of him performing my favorite song of his, “The Lady Rachel” from 1969’s progrock milestone Joy of a Toy. There wasn’t, but a few weeks later, a kind soul posted this humdinger of a performance from Belgium in 1975.
Ayers, with a band including Zoot Money and Ollie Hassell, does an astonishing twelve-minute long “Lady Rachel” here. If you’re a Kevin Ayers fan, you’ll plotz. The quality is great, too.
The thing that I wondered about is the audience murmuring among themselves at the song’s start. Who the hell would have talked during Kevin Ayers in his prime? Idiots!
When Joy of a Toy was remastered with extra tracks in 2003, it included an outtake from the sessions titled “Religious Experience” [take 9] (aka “Singing a Song in the Morning”) with Syd Barrett on guitar.