01 December 2004

More Martyn-al Musings

One is something of a happy camper. I got to see John Martyn not once, but twice, thanks to a couple of very kind friends who decided to return a favour and surprise me with another ticket for last night. I would have been quite happy with Monday night's performance, but last night was the icing on the cake. The band seemed a little more at ease, and the playing was slinkier. Martyn was in fine fettle as well.

Two great memories: John Martyn gooning around with a towel, fashioning an Arab headdress for himself and, hilariously, making himself look like Santa with hat and beard and addressing a female audience member in that trademark wicked Caledonian burr: "Hello little girrrl; would you like to come sit on Santa's knee? Because he's only got one left..."

At the end of the night two friends and I went out the back of the venue for a cigarette - we live in the West of Ireland, and as of last April you can't smoke in pubs here anymore. The Róisín Dubh backs on to a canal, and it's about a hundred yards walk to the street. John Martyn came out the back with his partner (a lady from Kilkenny) and bade us good night. He was determined to walk all the way back to the van, and his dog was equally determined to stay by his side until he got there.

If only I'd had a camera to capture the moment: John Martyn making his way along the bank of the Eglinton Canal, supporting himself on the railing with one hand and trailing his pooch with the other. What a fantastic memory.

The John Martyn revival starts here @ 50 quid bloke.

Sound engineer Sean McCormack has some photos of John Martyn, Mark Geary and Tom McCrae at his blog, In A Week's Work.

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