Michael Chapman – The Man Who Hated Mornings

Reboot for Yorkshire guitar hero’s 1977 star-studded corker

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On an evident high after the previous year’s Savage Amusement had brought him to Memphis, The Man Who Hated Mornings brings it back home with sessions in Cornwall and Hull. Chapman’s sour, bleak and funny observations, shot through with moments of pure musical transcendence, are heavy on the ground.

The title track’s clangour reminds us of the bandleader’s skill on guitar, and from there, his playing cuts an elegant, purposeful swathe through mordant blues, cabaret jazz and a screaming early cut of Dogs Got More Sense. A supremely sullen recast of Bob Dylan’s Ballad In Plain D is another highlight.

The excellently recorded band features guitar from Mick Ronson, BJ Cole and Andy Latimer, but Chapman’s ruggedly defined, inimitably detailed voice and individuality (which continues to endure and multiply) shines throughout.

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.