London, Barbican, 11 Sep 2006

1 Oct 2006
Record Collector
Neal Evans
John Martyn
London Barbican
View: front stalls, stage right

Solid Air is John's magnum opus, and the promise of a complete rendition meant a sell-out was assured.
A good part of the audience weren't even alive when Solid Air hit the shops but, soon after 9pm, John took to the stage with four accomplished musicians on bass, saxophone, drums and synthesiser, to show them what they'd missed first time round. Typically, though, he started with a selection of later songs, the highlight being a heartfelt Couldn't Love You More. Five songs in, he launched into a near-perfect Dreams By The Sea, followed by the other eight songs from the album (only forgetting the words of one), through to the crowd favourite title track. Concluding the set, John announced, "that's it, two ballads and I'm off". Both were duly delivered with just a vocal contribution from John. Yet most enduring memory of the evening was the obvious enjoyment John had from the experience, leaving the stage with a huge birthday smile. Magic.
Neal Evans

The exact publishing date of this Record Collector review remains unconfirmed.

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