Thursday, 16 April 2009

Good King John

Originally broadcast in 1978 to showcase the freshly recorded album One World, this Old Grey Whistle Test concert was recently reshown by the BBC in memoriam to the late John Martyn.

The performance at London's Collegiate Theatre captured him at his peak; hot and full of enthusiasm for his new songs, his performance was truly remarkable, and the tracks reproduced from One World are outstanding.

The ethereal 'Small Hours', a song described by Chris Blackwell, head of Island Records, as one of the greatest pieces of music ever recorded, is superbly executed; but the real stand out track is an energetic and gutsy rendition of 'Big Muff', revealing a remarkable picking ability and a masterful control of the non-user friendly echoplex.

John Martyn didn't need a band to support him, although he liked to play with one, allowing him, as he stated, 'to change the textures; create different moods'.
But essentially he could it all by himself, as this quirky performance proved.

John Martyn - Live at Collegiate Theatre, London, January 10th, 1978

May You Never
Small Hours
Certain Surprise
Couldn't Love You More
Big Muff

Audio rip from DVD @320kbs here
This performance has now been released on DVD by the BBC, so if this whets your wotsit...

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