2 Meter Sessie (1991)

Vara Dutch Radio
3 Nov 1991

15 minutes
Studio session recorded during Cooltide tour.

Track Listing

nr track author(s) time comment
00 Introduction Jan Douwe Kroeske [1:08] See below for text
01 Jack The Lad (J. Martyn) [5:20] Band version, nice rare stuff
02 Hole In The Rain (J. Martyn) [5:10] Band version, dito
03 Never Let Me Go (Joe Scott) [2:48] Guitar and keyboards, incomplete

The songs got a bit mutilated titles: "Hole Of The Rain" for instance and Never Let Me Go went into eternity on the 2 Meter Sessies website as "Will I Love You", apparently caused by the opening lines of the lyric. The personnel was not mentioned but from the tape it becomes apparent that John was in Holland to do four gigs in the Cooltide Tour. He did five actually, plus one extra in Uden (De Pul) that I was not able to verify yet. The session was recorded on a Sunday afternoon; afterwards John's band went to Utrecht to play a gig at the Tivoli. Personnel must have been Spencer Cozens (keyboards), Alan Thomson (bass) and Gerry Conway (drums).

Praise and imagery

John got a nice introduction by the host, who has been active organising the 2 Meter sessions since april 1987 and built quite a respectable catalogue of intimate performances. First the introduction to the broadcast:

"... En de sessie van John Martyn, Schot en zo'n typische uitvoerder van het bijna ondoorgrondelijke luisterlied. Hij maakte in het verleden platen die ergens tussen folk en blues in zitten, aanvankelijk met vrouw Beverley Martyn en later vooral met bassist Danny Thompson. Nu zo'n tien jaar geleden verscheen Grace & danger, het voorlopige hoogtepunt uit John Martyn's oeuvre. De uit 1986 [sic] stammende LP Sapphire kwam dicht bij datzelfde hoogtepunt. Eerlijk gezegd kan Martyn bij mij weinig kwaad doen want hij is zo integer als [Bob] Dylan en [Tom] Waits samen. En is een fantastische zanger die in staat is om zijn hele lijf als klankkast te gebruiken, als ware het een regenton. Een paar weken geleden verscheen John Martyn's achttiende LP, Cooltide genaamd. Het was dan ook een beetje navrant om te horen hoe moeilijk de man uiteindelijk aan een platendeal is gekomen voor Nederland. Maar gelukkig dook er een heel jong en vooral inventief platenlabel in om John Martyn's carrière in Nederland voort te gaan zetten. Hij trad hier op voor een viertal zalen en deed ook de 2 Meter Sessie, zoals ik al eerder zei. Je hoort nu twee nummers, aan het eind van Poppodium, zo tegen twaalven, hoor je het derde nummer. Maar eerst Jack The Lad, en Hole Of The Rain. John Martyn!"

After Hole In The Rain, Kroeske adds:

"Hole Of The Rain, het tweede nummer uit de 2 Meter Sessie van John Martyn en daarvoor hoorde je Jack The Lad. Die beide nummers hadden zo op plaat uit gekund. Straks nog een nummer in een hele andere constellatie namelijk man-met-gitaar en een beetje toetsen d'r onder."

John gives some introductory comment to Never Let Me Go:

"We do the Jewish wedding march. I seriously do, it is actually quite a feature. Right. So this is a fucking three o'clock in the morning ballad at - what? One o'clock in the afternoon. Oh God."


First the introduction to the broadcast:

"... And the session by John Martyn, Scotsman and one of those typical performers of the almost inscrutable song. In the past he made records that were somewhere inbetween folk and blues, at first with his wife Beverley Martyn and later on mostly with double bass player Danny Thompson. About ten years ago today Grace & danger appeared, the highlight from John Martyn's work so far. The album from 1984 Sapphire came close to this same highlight. To be honest, Martyn can do no wrong with me for he possesses as much integrity as [Bob] Dylan and [Tom] Waits put together. And he is a fantastic singer that is capable of using his entire body as a resonance-box, as if it were a water-butt. [Sorry John, his words HB]. A few weeks ago John Martyn's eighteenth album was released, called Cooltide. It was somewhat bitter to learn how difficult it was for the man to finally get a record deal for the Netherlands. But fortunately a very young and above all resourceful record label jumped in to continue John Martyn's career in the Netherlands. He performed here at about four venues and also did the 2 Meter Session, like I said before. Now you will be hearing two songs, and at the end of Pop Podium, towards twelve o'clock, you will hear the third track. But first Jack The Lad, and Hole Of The Rain. John Martyn!"

After Hole In The Rain, Kroeske adds:

"Hole Of The Rain, second track from the 2 Meter Session by John Martyn and before that one you heard Jack The Lad. Those two songs could have been released on record just like that. Later on another song in a whole different setting, that is man-with-guitar with some added keyboards."

Tape provided by Robert Punter, translation Hans van den Berk

Host: Jan Douwe Kroeske