I was watching BBC Four’s “The Songs of Nick Drake” concert the other day. Very good it was too. They kept most of the arrangements very close to to the originals and there were some excellent guest singers, including Krystle Warren and that man whose shirts are coveted by all of us Wizards, Robyn Hitchcock.
But I was most intrigued by a mysterious musical device that made its first appearance during “At The Chime of a City Clock” sung by Lisa Hannigan.
What the blazes is that then? It looks like some kind of musical cheesegrater. The man was playing it by tapping on the holes on the front. It seemed to make a sound a bit like a xylophone, but there were a lot of musicians onstage so it is entirely possible that the sound I thought was being made by this instrument was actually the sound of someone else playing a xylophone.
As you can see, the instrument was made by Hohner, the manufacturer of mouth organs and the very first guitar I ever owned. The thing even has a name written on it but it’s a bit difficult to make out. It looks like it’s called a Hohner Guitarist but I’ve Googled that and nothing comes up.
See it for yourself in the clip below. It’s being played by the bloke in the white shirt and dark jacket sitting in front of the drummer. There’s a good close-up of it 56 seconds in.
Do you know what it is? Are you an expert in obscure musical instruments or do you just have an HD TV that enables you to read the words on it a bit better? Either way, get in touch and enlighten me.