Colston Hall, Bristol

Bristol was a real treat! I was incredibly nervous seeing John after the op and he walked on with the aid of a large walking stick, and that was that. He was seated throughout, but he in no way mentioned it or let it be an issue, hats off to him! The standing ovation upon his entrance from what seemed to be a capacity crowd really touched him. What followed was John and the band on top form. John’s guitar skills seem to have gone on to another level (if that is possible) and it was a first for me to see John Giblin on bass, pure class. The set was all old stuff except for My Creator which was exceptional. Now I have seen John in Various states myself, in the past I have enjoyed a photo:Tim Dickesondrink and a smoke more than most, the consequences of such a past and growing up has meant that I have been sober and straight for three years now, and all the better for it too! I dare say that John too has enjoyed the finer things in life and enjoyed them. He appeared to be sober and no sign of a smoke, and incredibly happy and content.

Considering his life changing events of 2003 any lesser man would have become bitter and shown it, but not he. I have read somewhere that he has become a Buddhist. I really honestly believe I saw the happiest John Martyn I have ever seen on Saturday, and it has really touched me. I did e-mail you at the time of the operation about how it had upset me and the Bristol gig completely turned all those feelings on their head and it appears that he has made good of what would mess any of us up. I am in no way an evangelistic ex drinker and ex etc. that despises those that have carried on, I am as liberal still as I always was, and if John still enjoys a drink and a smoke then good for him. He just seemed to be on a higher plain. As he walked of stage with his stick, he raised it up above his head in pure defiance, an enormous smile on his face and a job well done. Once again he had reduced me tears and more memories I will never forget.

Jason Swarbrick