Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

June 6th was a very rainy day in Manchester. But the concert of John Martyn & Danny Thompson that night in the Bridgewater Hall made us forget the pouring rain outside. The Sunshine Boys served us an intimate, warm and varied concert in which a lot of the ‘7O’s John Martyn classics’ did get a wonderful Sunshine Boys-treatment which stands for very subtile acoustic arrangements, a display of incredible music from the acoustic guitar of John Martyn (that seemed so little in the big hands of this man) and the virtuoso basspart of Danny Thompson, a lot of focus (in the mixing) on the outstanding vocals, and on accasion surprising tension between the poignant authenticity by which the emotional songs were sung and the playful and boyish humour that was so disarming,….To be short: this was an excellent and moving concert that proved that these two musicians & connoisseurs belong to the artistic top of pop music. The huge concert hall was almost sold out & as a looked around I saw a lot of people for whom this music meant a lot. The concert lasted for about 80 minutes which I found a bit too short, especially if you think of all the tuning between the numbers. But then, I returned to my hotel with 2 new live John Martyn/Danny Thompson recordings and a magnificent programme (a special mention here for the great editing of John Hillarby !) I hope John Martyn has plans to let us enjoy his great music in Belgium too !!

1. The Glory Of Love (1973)
2. Don’t Want To Know (1973)
3. Bless The Weather (1971)
4. Make No Mistake (1973)
5. Spencer The Rover (1974)
6. Danny Thompson: Blue Monk
7. Dealer (1977)
8. Outside In (1973)
9. Sweet Little Mystery (1980)
10. May You Never (1973)
11. Solid Air (1973)
12. The Easy Blues (1973)

Wim Malfliet