Concert review

Battersea Town Hall, 30 Jul 1977

1 Oct 1977
Déjà Vu 1977 #3
Mike Burdett

John Martyn

At first glance, it would appear that John Martyn has been lying dormant over the past couple of years, considering that his last studio work was back in 1975 (in those glorious times when we had free festivals and punks were peculiarities who got sand kicked in their faces!). First glances, though, are invariably deceptive and you can rest assured that the dependable Martyn has been his usual busy and creative self. Granted, he disappeared to Jamaica for the best part of 1976 but, far from being a holiday, this venture can best be described as a 'sabbatical period' during which he spent some time playing with Burning Spear and was introduced to the legendary Reggae producer Lee Perry, with whom he worked for a while.

York, University, 4 February 1977

26 Feb 1977
New Musical Express
John Hamblett

John Martyn

SO THERE was I, one o'clock in the morning, getting into a vicious Hell's Angel rhythm, occasionally putting the book down to examine the current metamorphosis of my carefully cultivated Sonny Barger leer in the mirror. I was just working up a fine sense of righteous brotherhood with the Outlaw Bikers, when uninvited and unprovoked the first evil tremors of a full scale assault of Bad Conscience forced me to take up my present position behind the loathsome typewriter.

London, Regent's Park, 4 Jul 1976

10 Jul 1976
New Musical Express
Rod McShane

John Martyn

IT WAS about November when John Martyn announced that he'd be taking a year off from live appearances in Britain.

It wasn't believable at the time; and this wasn't the first gig since the itchy-fingered Martyn's pronouncement. But the small steep-tiered Open theatre in the heart of Regent's Park on Sunday evening must be just about the ideal setting for Martyn's music.

Croydon, Fairfield Halls, 25 May 1975

7 Jun 1975
New Musical Express
Rod McShane

John Martyn

THERE AREN'T many musicians who can carry off a set barely ninety minutes long, almost thirty of them between-numbers chat, without leaving an audience feeling short-changed. Martyn's Croydon concert did, and managed much more. It was one of the most completely satisfying gigs I've attended in a long time.


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