An appreciative New York audience witnessed the first area performance by Doug Yule in over thirty years on August 31, 2006. The arrangements for Thursday night's show came together in a whirlwind of emails and phone calls over a mere four days.
Doug and Mark Gardener, former member of Ride would appear together in a small club on the lower east side of Manhattan. The original idea was for Mark to perform his set and then, in an acknowledgment of the Velvet Underground's influence on his music, he would call on Doug to join him for "New Age".
Doug arrived at Pianos on Ludlow street (coincidentally, a stone's throw from Lou, John, and Sterling's old apartment) with his guitar and violin and met Mark. After a brief chat, they quickly moved on to the business of rehearsal. They seemed to click almost immediately and it appeared that the performance of the one song would go very smoothly. One song would hardly be enough though. So both Doug and Mark ran through "Two More Hands", one of Doug's original tunes, and then "What Goes On"!
Mark then brilliantly suggested that since they were digging into the VU catalog, why not dig a bit further and try "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'"? After a mad scramble for the lyrics, they worked the song out beautifully. Mark sang harmony and matched Doug's guitar with his own twelve-string.
Because the show came together so quickly, there was no time for promotion beyond word-of-mouth and postings on web sites. The small room filled up nicely however, and the audience was treated to Mark's lovely solo set and then the shared set with Doug. I think what really surprised the audience was how well Doug's voice has held up over the years. If you closed your eyes, you'd swear it was 1970. Doug and Mark's voices and guitars blended beautifully.
The set was as follows: Mark solo: Water and Wine, Snow in Mexico, Time to Time, Beautiful Ghost, Story of the Eye.
Mark was then joined by Doug and Daniel Yule, Doug's thirteen year-old son. They played violin on an Appalachian standard "Candy Girl" with Mark on guitar. The trio continued with "Two More Hands" with Doug switching to guitar for this original song from 2000, and then on to a great rendition of "What Goes On" with Daniel replacing that song's distinctive twin guitar solo with a lovely violin version.
Doug and Mark then proceeded to "New Age" which again highlighted Doug's excellent and amazingly youthful voice, and closed with a majestic rendition of "Oh! Sweet Nuthin". The delighted audience clamored for one more but there simply wasn't enough time to have had prepared more. Doug and Mark both expressed how much they enjoyed playing together and it's entirely possible that we may hear more from them.
For me, it was like a dream come true to hear those great songs so wonderfully performed. It was also great fun to meet Mark and find out what a warm and extremely talented guy he is. Do not miss him if he comes to your town! I must thank the staff and crew at Pianos who could not have been more helpful and accommodating, and my partner in this venture, Steve Pestana. The performance was taped by a crew from Grey Skies Films which is producing a DVD documentary on Mark.
- Sal Mercuri
Download New Age video clip
(xvid, 1:06, 8771 Ko)
created by Olivier Landemaine
|©1996-2006 The Velvet Underground Web Page|