‘Drinking and diving, bobbing and weaving’, John Martyn has stumbled through a career spanning 11 album releases with apparent abandon. He has enjoyed the freedom of a solo troubadour, disappeared for mysterious stretches between records and often turns up unannounced in folk pubs and clubs. With his high, husky voice and a guitar style that has come as naturally to him as singing, Martyn still has the scruffiness of the archetypal folky, with finger planted well in ear, but the image belies a growing sophistication in his music.
He now lives in Ayrshire, where he has been preparing material for an album he describes as ‘more light-hearted and up-tempo’ than recent ones. He has also’ given up his one-man band in favour of a permanent group. They play tonight at London’s Dominion theatre and will have a new album this autumn.
23 May 1981