The audience seemed to love it, ‘though I’m not sure if they’re applauding the John they’ve just seen or the John they remember. But having recently seen the phrase ‘once in a lifetime chance’ take on a new significance the opportunity to see him can’t be turned down easily.
But it’s hard to turn your back on someone whose work can still give so much pleasure and inspiration. We’re upstairs in the 18 bob seats, and as you might expect we’re packed in like sardines with Real Fans all around us.
Every song has a long introduction, and long middle, and a long ending, and it’s the band doing most of the work.
I really felt that Martyn was struggling at times with his guitar, and seemed to have (understandable) difficulty with his pedals, the key to his wizardry.
Of course he sang - but his increasingly slurred, drawling growly voice has long since become a grotesque self parody, no more evident than in the crooned version of ‘Never let me go’ that he ends the set with.
And of course we get the ‘Cockney John’ and ‘Glasgow John’ stuff in between songs - with a recurring and tedious joke about a man who killed his mother. Probably a little more on caramel, liquorice and praline, though, but otherwise we’re in the same league. Interesting again, lots of personality Mouth (neat): rather explosive.
So I guess that’s partly why we’ll be seeing him again (under the stars somewhere in Oxfordshire) later in the summer. In fact they’re a little European Community of fans many of whom have travelled a long way to be here.
When it does start these guys know all the words (I do hate people singing at gigs) and needless to say start singing them far too soon, encouraged by the fellow with the guitar in the middle of the stage.The finish is long, again very sugary, with lemon sweets and some tannins. Nose: the sherry is well here, obviously, but there’s quite some sulphur and rubber as well (rubber bands). Mouth: this seems to be better, yet quite rubbery again.