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Gavin Martin - Talking Musical Revolutions album review

The gift of the Gav

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.