Fleadh 1995

Tour program

concert program

"Mean Fiddler & Workers Beer Company present
Finsbury Park
10th June

Sponsored by
Time Out"

The Fleadh 1995 was the sixth festival in its kind. There were two stages, the Main Stage and the Time Out stage.
Headlining acts were The Beautiful South, Van Morrison, Sinéad O'Connor and Saw Doctors.
John had a spot on the Time Out stage from 18:15 to 19:15 pm. He also got some attention (half a page) in the 32 page full colour tour program that was issued for the occasion. The text about him is reproduced below.

The Beautiful South 9.40pm
Sinéad O'Connor 8.25pm
Van Morrison 7.10pm
The Saw Doctors 5.55pm
Jimmy Barnes 4.55pm
Big Country 3.55pm
Kirsty MacColl 2.55pm
Brian Kennedy 2.00pm
Boyzone 1.15pm
The Big Geraniums 12.30pm
The Frames 11.45am
Shane MacGowan & The Popes 9.30pm
The Dubliners 8.15pm
Michelle Shocked 7.15pm
John Martyn 6.15pm
Christie Hennessy 5.20pm
The Kelly Family 4.35pm
ALT (Andy White, Liam O'Maonlai, Tim Finn) 3.40pm
Energy Orchard 2.50pm
Capercaillie 2.00pm
Frances Black 1.15pm
Dervish 12.30pm
Bohinta 11.45am

To describe John Martyn as a 'cult figure' is to miss the point by around 1.61 kilometres. Martyn has spent his musical life ignoring trends and fashions, preferring instead to hack his own way through the musical jungle. Occasionally -as with May You Never and his freak Somewhere Over The Rainbow hit- he and the mainstream collide, but you get the impression that it's more through accident than design.
Born in 1948 and raised in Glasgow, Martyn was taught to play guitar by influential Scottish folk singer Hamish Imlach. His two debut albums were both recorded in 1968, but his first real success came as a duo with his then-wife, Beverley. In 1970, they travelled to New York and recorded the classic Stormbringer album with various members of The Band. By the time '73's Solid Air was released, Beverley had given up touring in order to raise their children. John's use of the 'echo-plex' (an early electronic guitar effect) and his characteristically whisky-creased voice had by this time become recognisable trademarks. Stormbringer also marked the beginning of a long-term musical association with Pentangle bassist Danny Thompson that continues (if somewhat erratically) to this day.

John Martyn has collaborated with some of the most influential artists in the world. 1977's One World was recorded in Jamaica with Lee 'Scratch' Perry and Burning Spear1, Phil Collins produced Grace And Danger (which coincided with the break-up of his marriage with Beverley) and was featured on Glorious Fool together with Eric Clapton, while Sapphire and Piece By Piece were both produced with Robert Palmer2.

Martyn's music has been described as 'laidback jazz-folk', but that's not even half the story. Over the years, Martyn has collected influences like a schoolboy collects stamps and he's not averse to changing reference points mid-song. His latest albums, The Apprentice and Cooltide, are proof of this and point to a more mellow, if no less aggressive side of Martyn's character coming to the fore.

Jim Driver


1 Burning Spear did not collaborate on One World in any way. John is present on their album Man In The Hills, though.
2 Robert Palmer was not involved with Piece By Piece.