So glad we got to see Martin Stephenson this time round – a fab evening with a top entertainer. My mate McD has been telling me to go see him for years – last time I saw him was in 1988! The Brudenell was done out with tables and chairs and we got one next to the stage “It looks just like Ronnie Scots!” says Martin who talks (and talks) between songs with humour and ease that has you wishing you could see him every week.
First up was Danielle Howle from North Carolina who did a solo set on acoustic guitar which brought out the crazy side of her. Martin rated her highly and later got her up for an impromptu jam with th band whilst he stood beaming at the side.
It was fortunate that we had seats cos Martin does a long set – full of stories of his alcoholism and subsiquent dryness, the people he’s met along the way, his wife (who used to go out with one of King Kurt), how proud he is of his kids cos they’re nice…..all of this just days after his dad past away. “He was a Newcastle fan and delighted more in Sunderland doing badly”. My favourite story was of a pal with haemophilia who ended up in jail – he’d go visit each week and write songs with him which he’d work on with his drummer Kate “The kind of things that a manager would despair at – I wasn’t made for the commercial world” (Kate BTW was a continuity announcer for channel 4)
I don’t think he really needs a band, he’s a fantastic guitarist, but the band he has were on top form, bringing the songs alive……..with even, a great reggae dub tune thrown in. So many great songs – new ones mixed in with old faves ‘Rain’, ‘Crocodile Cryer’, ‘Wholly Humble Heart‘, ‘Gladsome, Humour & Blue’, ‘Running Water’ and one of my personal faves ‘Colleen’ “My sister nearly killed me for saying she was a lesbian….she isn’t!”
It was gone midnight when we left – Martin alluded to the fact that he looks like George Formby, but with the length of the set, I was thinking Ken Dodd – Will definitely go next time he’s round – don’t miss out!
Bob the Chiropodist