Febuary Songwriters Session @ The Wellington – Birmingham, Sun 24th Feb @ 4pm…Special Guest – Tom Martin. Tickets on sale NOW – purchase direct from the downstairs bar of the pub or pre-order / purchase from me or Tom Martin
“Tom Martin…Widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists to come
out of Ireland, but primarily a brilliant songwriter of longstanding
cult status…Easy to listen to, hard to define with a melodic touch of
Paul Simon and lyrical insight of a John Prine, but with a sound and a songwriting skill that is undeniably his own” Belfast Telegraph
Irish singer songwriter Tom Martin has carved out a musical niche perhaps best described as “Celtic Fusion” in that he seems to effortlessly infuse whatever genre he tackles with the elusive but unmistakable muse that is found only among the musicians, mystics and poets of Ireland. A consummate performer who has honed his craft for more than forty years, in venues ranging from bars to concert halls and festival stages, Tom’s songwriting and musical arrangements have been compared to Paul Simon, John Prine, Bob Dylan, and Ry Cooder. He counts all of these luminaries among his musical influences, along with the Rolling Stones, Bert Jansch, Chuck Berry, Hank Williams, Robert Johnson, Doc Watson, and the traditional music of his native Ireland. But the songs, the style and the delivery are very much his own.
Tom performs both solo and with The Tom Martin Band. He has many CDs to his credit, the newest being “Celtic Soul” – a tribute to his traditional Irish Roots.Tom is the founder and proprietor of the Tower of Song Cafe Bar, a dedicated venue for quality acoustic music located in Kings Norton, Birmingham.
Great set from Ian Passey / The Humdrum Express at yesterdays Songwriter Session at The Wellington – Birmingham…first one of the year…another great VFM / quality gig for your pleasure…thanks to those that journeyed along 🙂
My first Special Guest at the Songwriter Sessions of 2019 is Ian Passey …from Kidderminster based band The Humdrum Express. Ian is LIVE on Steve Lamacq’s BBC 6 Music Show on Weds 30 Jan…and LIVE as my Special Guest at The Songwriter Sessions at The Wellington on Sun 27 Jan…tickets on sale only £5…we don’t call them the best value for money gig in town for nothing 🙂 …form an orderely queue there’s a limited number of tickets available. You can purchase them direct from the downstairs bar of The Wellington or you can order / purchase them from me or Ian.
/ chuffed / dancing around the room to announce I’ll be doing a support
slot to me old mates The Dirty Strangers at the legendary Troubadour
Club (Dylan, Hendrix, Zepplin etc,) in London on Fri 17th May …more
details and ticket information to be announced nearer the date https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-iRbHuENT0
The Dirty Strangers were one of the best rock n roll bands around in the 80s and early 90s and featured many fine musicians including the late great guitar player Paul Fox (The Ruts see pic 1) as well as the brilliant Angie Brown as a co-vocalist in the band (she still graces their presence on very special ocassions – real class 🎶💚👍 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m50HM01_SVc ) …alongside the main man Dirty Al (Alan Clayton ) lead vocals / frontman and now rockin’ guitarist as well…plus long time keyboard player Scotty Mulvey still ripping it up on the keys…and Al and Scotty are still keeping the stripped down no nonsense good wholesome rock n roll / r & b flame burning bright.
My connection to the band originally starts when Scotty was playing keyboards in my old mate Gary John Lammin fine band D’Rango Slang that also featured another old mate and great guitar player Mickie Owen back around 1983. A band I was still drumming in at the time – The Midnight Ramblers with Glenn Tranter supported them in a local club see pics 2) Scotty – D’Rango Slang) 3) Gary and Mickie – D’Rango Slang) 4) Midnight Ramblers. That was one of Scotty’s last gigs with D’Rango – he was off to join The Dirty Strangers not long after.
Then in my old band The Love Hounds (1986-90) – when the Dirties toured their first album (around 1988/ 89) I got the support slot for the Love Hounds on a few of their Midland dates see pic 5. At the JBs gig we did a cover of Ronnie Woods song ‘Outlaw’ and Al called Ronnie on the pay phone in the dressing room of JBs and held the door open so he heard it 🙂…we were made up – especially Ecka Cox ( Desmond Ecka ) cos’ he played a mighty fine bit of slide guitar on it bless him 👍🎶💚 … There was a mutual appreciation society between the bands, they were fellow ‘souls’ in what was a very fickle / plastic music scene of the late 80s…we were a rock n roll band, so were they…there were’nt many of us around in that ‘shoe gazing’ period. Foxy wore a Love Hounds t-shirt on an interview / gig they did on a very early UK Internet music show – whose name escapes me but perhaps Alan or someone in the band remembers it or has a copy of it?…I’d love to see it 😃.
Their debut album featured none other than Stones guitar slingers Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood who loved the band and joined them in the studio to play on a few tracks…Ronnie Wood even featured in a video for a single off the first album Here She Comes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdsq4b1lu14 …and that Stones connection continues to this day…heres The Dirties warming the Stones backline up on a recent world tour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5KTGNssLD8
We became firm fans as well as friends of the band as well, venturing down to a few London gigs, we took a mini bus one time that Dave Ohms drove …but the real funny one was the trip that me and Tim Johnson made by train to see the Dirties on their own manor…The Opera on The Green at Sheperds Bush, London…lol lol it was fuckin epic, it should have been filmed lol 😅😅 as it combined Ray Mears Survival type antics, Richard Attenborough ‘animals in their natural environment’ scenes and a type of Ken Loach ‘realism documentary style that incorporated rough sleeping and the iconic story of ‘Saturday Night / Sunday Morning …from Tipton to London and Back with a alcoholic casualty lol lol it still makes me smile today thinking about it…see pic 6 for the state of Tim Johnson at the gig playing ‘a rock n roll air guitar at the feet of Al and Foxy) 😂😂
Anyway, I’m giving plenty of notice about the date, put it in your diary / calandar and tell your friends, because it’ll be a real old school rock n roll party night – and the after club DJ is none other than the legendary ‘digger out of a crunching groove’ Cruel Valentino Paul Clayton 👍😃🎶 It would be great to see a few old London faces (one definitely for you Steve Finn 👍🎶) as well as those who fancy planning a weekend in ‘Da Kapital’…come on lifes too short…a few of us oldies have recent examples of how true that saying is. It’s Only Rock n Roll…but we like it, love it…yes indeed #onelove#rocknroll
SONGWRITER SESSIONS – THE WELLINGTON – BIRMINGHAM…
Here’s some more gig confirmations for your brand new 2019 diaries and calendar’s…
The Songwriter Sessions at The Wellington – Birmingham city centre kick off in 2019 with a cracker on Sunday 27th Jan at the usual time of 4pm featuring as my ‘Special Guest’ the Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) championed singer songwriter Ian Passey / The Humdrum Express. The Kidderminster based songwriter continues to document the quirks of modern times in a unique and infectious manner. ‘Brilliant and observational’ Steve Lamacq https://youtu.be/R178o4YvDfo TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW
The February Session on Sun 24th see’s as my ‘Special Guest’ the long time Birmingham based (but not for much longer sadly) Belfast born songwriter and musician Tom Martin gracing us with an intimate gig before he leaves the UK to base himself back in Ireland. Tom has been a noted and respected musician and songwriter by those that matter in the local West Midlands music scene for over 30 years, he has contributed massively to quality music in this area during this time, not only as a performer but also running his own venue for over 12 years now The Tower of Song in Kings Norton. Tom doesn’t do the ‘celeb’ or the plastic sycophantic ligging and ass kissing and ego stroking that goes on in ‘the scene’, he just goes about his craft quietly and unassumingly with skill and technique and gets the job done, whether it’s an intimate solo gig he’s doing or a full band ‘Celtic Soul’ performance…and these feature some stunning musicians as well. I’m honoured that Toms agreed to do a Songwriters Session for me 👍😊 https://youtu.be/aDAtoOaZesc
The March Session on Sun 24th sees us go ‘national’ again and pull in another Liverpool based songwriter with an excellent pedigree… Marc Vormawah was originally in Liverpool 80s band (signed the Elektra Records and John Peel favourites) Personal Column. His most recent solo album ‘Goodbye To Yesteday’ was critically acclaimed as a ‘wonderfully envisaged album’ by Liverpool’s ‘Sound & Vision’ magazine. Marc writes some wonderful wholesome pop music and has a great vocal range…DON’T MISS. https://youtu.be/DnFTHNfh094
Our April session on Sun 28th April features the duo Birdbrother formed in 2011 in Sussex by Phil Stapley their celebrated debut album ‘Peace To The Wanderer’ was released in 2012. Phil relocated to Shropshire and teamed up with flute / percussionist Paul Beadle and the duo have been slowly working their magic together. They could easily be described as ‘folk driven pop music tapestry weavers’…or simply just call them WONDERFUL. https://youtu.be/3gLIfkRskYA
There are other dates I’m waiting for confirmations on – both local and
national. I’ll announce them with the usual fanfare ASAP 😊…here’s to 2019 ‘All The Very Best To You and thanks for your support hope to see you soon’ Gary x
The Songwriter Sessions at The Wellington – Birmingham city centre kick off in 2019 with a cracker on Sunday 27th Jan at the usual time of 4pm featuring as my ‘Special Guest’ the Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) championed singer songwriter Ian Passey / The Humdrum Express. The Kidderminster based songwriter continues to document the quirks of modern times in a unique and infectious manner.
The February Session on Sun 24th see’s as my ‘Special Guest’ the long time Birmingham based (but not for much longer sadly) Belfast born songwriter and musician Tom Martin gracing us with an intimate gig before he leaves the UK to base himself back in Ireland. Tom has been a noted and respected musician and songwriter by those that matter in the local West Midlands music scene for over 30 years, he has contributed massively to quality music in this area during this time, not only as a performer but also running his own venue for over 12 years now The Tower of Song in Kings Norton. Tom doesn’t do the ‘celeb’ or the plastic sycophantic ligging and ass kissing and ego stroking that goes on in ‘the scene’, he just goes about his craft quietly and unassumingly with skill and technique and gets the job done, whether it’s an intimate solo gig he’s doing or a full band ‘Celtic Soul’ performance…and these feature some stunning musicians as well. I’m honoured that Toms agreed to do a Songwriters Session for me… http://www.tommartinmusic.com/
I can also confirm that I’ll be doing a support to Tom and his ‘Celtic Soul’ band at his last gig at the Tower of Song before he leaves to base himself in Ireland on Sat March 30th. Toms son is taking the venue over (so that’s a bit of good news) and Tom will hopefully return when possible for a gig for us.
‘Widely regarded as one of the finest guitarists to come out of Ireland, but primarily a brilliant songwriter of longstanding cult status…easy to listen to, hard to define, with a melodic touch of Paul Simon and lyrical insight of John Prine, but with a sound and songwriting skill that is undeniably all his own.’ Belfast Telegraph.
Get along and show your appreciation for this guy…he’s been quality for years…LOCAL RADIO SHOULD DO A RESPECTFUL FEATURE ON THE GUY – HE’S EARNED IT!
There are other dates I’m waiting for confirmations on – both local and national. I’ll announce them with the usual fanfare ASAP …here’s to 2019 ‘All The Very Best To You and thanks for your support hope to see you soon’
Thanks to everybody that’s supported me throughout 2018, it’s been the best year by far for a number of years, both musically and personally. There’s been some lovely gigs both locally and nationally. The Songwriter Sessions at The Wellington in Birmingham have been hard work but very enjoyable and seen some great gigs and brilliant VFM…the best around. Thanks to all that have supported these, both performers and punters.
The trips around Ireland were very special and a fantastic experience, Belfast, Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Killaloe and back to Dublin…met and gigged with some great people, made a lot of friends…oh and catched up with some long lost family which was very special indeed.
And the gig with Martin Stephenson & The Daintees (plus John Perry of The Only Ones) at Chelsea – London at the end of Nov were what dreams are made of 🙂 …oh and theres been the start of recordings for a new album HOME with me old mate Rick Lambe…thanks again for a wonderful year :-).
The December ‘Songwriter Sessions’ – Sunday 16th Dec @ The Wellington, Birmingham wil feature as my ‘Special Guests’ Hannah Bean and Mark Hogan from Worcesters finest SKEWWHIFF doing a scaled down acoustic performance. A great end to the year. Tickets are on sale NOW and can be ordered / purchased from contacting us or alternatively they are also on sale from behinf the downstairs bar of The Wellington.
Wonderful night supporting Martin Stephenson & The Daintees at Under The Bridge @ Stamford Bridge – Chelsea (it’s literally under The Shed End) on Friday night (30th Nov)…brilliant crowd 🙂 …and I got to meet the one and only Only Ones guitarist John Perry who guested wity the band – good times :-)…The Daintees proving once again they’re one of the best live bands this country has. A very special night 🙂
‘Take it to the bridge’…or under it 🙂 …next one up for me …LONDON CALLING…support slot to me old mucka Martin Stephenson & The Daintees (one of the finest live bands you’ll see…plus a great bunch of people) …plus…keep this to yourselves …but the ONLY ONE and only Mr John Perry will be guesting with them as well…I mean come on…you can’t miss this treat. Tickets on sale from http://underthebridge.co.uk/events/martin-stephenson-daintees/