Sheffield

Presumably the people that foist full house (and I don’t mean winning) sitbore re-reruns on us under the guise of comedy are seeking more palatable alternatives? If so, then look no further than Kevin Siesay, a gent with a guitar and a humorous slant on things both banal as banana skins and black as his own. The audience at the University sometimes cheer, sometimes wince, but always they laugh at his unusual view of the oddest subjects. Beam this man through screens and make him a star. Please.

John Martyn’s humour is often just as funny in a clownish sort of way, but here humour is incidental to music, and what music. Ethereal to abrasive, soaring on Martyn’s superb guitar and the keyboard virtuosity of one Foster Paterson, the nigh on two hour set may be composed mainly of old material, but it’s arranged in such a way as to be often unrecognisable prior to Martyn’s velvet and sandpaper vocals, and yet loses none of its original charm and imagination. At times, it even gains.

The Sapphire LP only gets a look in with Mad Dog Days but, if Martyn’s current output is to be judged on this performance, then the sooner that album joins my collection the better. Quite simply, the best set I’ve seen so far this year.

Pete Marchaetto
15 June 1985
Sounds

Sheffield
1 June 1985