City Hall, Salisbury

The lights go down, a fanfare…., I recognise that theme…, it’s Star Wars…., and he walks on dressed as Darth Vadar and attacks his assistant with a plastic light saber……, Yes, it’s another evening with John Martyn….,

The mood starts slowly and gradually evolves from jazz to acoustic blues and on into very heavy rock and I am wondering why we love this man so much….? Perhaps it is his delicate way of responding to his audience (“Shadddup…, I’m talking !”) or the love between the man and his fans (“Love you, John !…,” “Well, I’ve never met you mate so I can only reciprocate”); perhaps it is his complete control when surrounded by some of the finest musicians you will ever see…, (“What the fuck are we supposed to be playing?”) or his brilliant technical ability with his chosen instrument…, (“Fuck, I knew I should have left it alone!” when trying to tune a hopelessly flat guitar string…, or “I play this these days for a bet!” introducing “Easy Blues”). Then maybe it’s the way he has adapted and grown with the technology, ( “Fuck I hate computers”) or it could just be his wonderful and expressive command of the English language…,

But of course in with all the hilarity and buffoonery is one of the finest singer – songwriters ever to grace these shores. The deep love, “Couldnt’ Love You More”, the strength of friendship, “May You Never”, the power, the aggression, the anger, “I Am John Wayne”, whatever you feel, he can express it and take you there.

They tell me he is under-rated, they tell me he has never had the recognition he deserves. But you know? I don’t care……, I have been there many times over the years, I was there again last night and when he comes back, I’ll be there again.

Simon Murray