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Gavin Martin - Talking Musical Revolutions album review

The gift of the Gav

Cover art for Gavin Martin - Talking Musical Revolutions album

What we are to our fellow man is the sum of our war stories. Sit us down on a bar stool, wind us up and let us go. The query, “Have I ever told you the one about…” can be dispiriting, but Gavin Martin’s tales twinkle like the mischief in his eye.

From a punk epiphany that inspired his Alternative Ulster zine through 40 years on music journalism’s front line, Martin’s soaked up a wealth of experience and, driven by the poetry in his Celtic soul, produced an album boasting more lyricism and lilt than most described as ‘spoken word’.

Against a complementary if largely unobtrusive rock backdrop, Martin delivers softly spoken strong words. I Want To Tell You Something speaks of a lost world of ‘Record Mirror, Melody Maker and Sounds,’ and while an acerbic Thatcher And Savile pulls no punches, Wilko (Is A Soldier) and The Revolutionary – dedicated to Rory Gallagher – are emotive tales of enduring inspiration.

Imagine Van Morrison’s Coney Island with added grit to its oyster, the cinematic spirit of Dexy’s Don’t Stand Me Down with a punk-informed Dylanesque spin. Witty, passionate, fearless and evocative, Talking Musical Revolutions captures its era’s vital spark.

Ian Fortnam

Commissioning both album reviews and live reviews, Classic Rock reviews editor Ian has been fearlessly filtering the rock from the cock since 2003.