Live (Shaw Theatre, London, 31st March 1990) (Remastered)

Every John Martyn gig is a special and unpredictable experience! Even the band doesn’t always know what John will do next! John often ‘goes with the flow’ changing the set list, the tempo of songs, improvising lyrics and guitar solos as he absorbs the electrically charged atmosphere and engages in banter with an appreciative audience.

Live At The Shaw TheatreLive was recorded on 31st March 1990 at London’s Shaw Theatre on Euston Road. John toured for three months visiting Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany and The Netherlands to support the release of The Apprentice (One World Records OW104CD). The band comprised Spencer Cozens (keyboards), Alan Thomson (bass), Dave Lewis (saxophone) and Miles Bould (drums and percussion). During an eleven night residency at the Shaw Theatre (named in honour of George Bernard Shaw) John was joined by numerous guests including his old sparring partner Danny Thompson and Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour.

“There’s some freak on the stage!” John says as he introduces Gilmour to a stunned audience. Gilmour’s distinctive guitar playing is featured on John Wayne, Look At The Girl, Lookin’ On, Johnny Too Bad and One World. Gilmour is a long time admirer of John’s music and is clearly enjoying his guest appearance!

John’s vocals vary from ethereal, to an abrasive but gorgeous growl, soaring on the keyboard virtuosity of Spencer Cozens, Alan Thomson’s delightful bass and his own superb guitar play. This two-hour plus set of acoustic and electric music is taken from his many studio albums, starting with 1973’s Solid Air to The Apprentice released in 1990. Many of the older songs have been re-arranged in such a way that they have kept their original charm and imagination but have a fresh ‘out of the wrapper crispness.’ I can listen to Couldn’t Love You More and Angeline over and over again, each time enjoying it more than the last.

100% pure emotion. 100% John Martyn.

John Hillarby