Martin Carthy live in Doncaster, 2013

21 May 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 21 May 2017

Here are three new audio clips from a live recording of Martin’s solo Roots Music Club gig at the Doncaster Deaf School on 29 November 2013. I’m posting them here on the occasion of Martin’s 76th birthday.

Two of the clips (My Son John and the interview) were previously unavailable whilst When I Was A Little Boy was included on a podcast from Jonti’s Roots & Acoustic Music Show on SineFM in December 2013. Jonti Willis conducts the interview and asked me to contribute to the Q&A so if you listen carefully you’ll hear my question to Martin at around 16:45 (there were no mics on the audience so the audio for these questions has been boosted and is audible but not always very clear).

Live sound for all the clips was by Stuart Palmer and the photographs are by me.

The full podcast including most of this gig (minus the interview) is here:

Oh, and Happy Birthday Martin!


Rarities: ‘Byker Hill’ South Korean mini LP replica CD

7 May 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 7 May 2017

Byker Korea 06

Mini album CDs are scaled-down reproductions of albums that were originally issued as 12” LPs and are perhaps most popular in Japan. Packaging reproduces that of the original vinyl LP rather than any later CD reissues and will often include any inserts or inner sleeves that may not be included in the standard CD.  A paper insert with additional information in both English and Japanese may also be included and an ‘obi strip’ – a small strip of paper or card wrapped around the cover – is a standard feature.

This is an August 2015 release of Martin’s 1967 Byker Hill album from Media Arte Records and rather than being from Japan this was issued in South Korea. It’s something I picked up around a year ago but have been reluctant to post here as I wasn’t sure if it was a legitimate release or one of the many available pirate/bootleg issues. I was recently reassured by David Suff of Topic Records that this was indeed a legitimate issue so I’m happy to post some detailed pictures here.

As you’ll see, reproduction of the original Topic LP sleeve and label are of a high quality and while the mastering on some Japanese albums gives a notoriously ‘brittle’ sound, the sound quality here is at least as good as the standard issue Topic CD of the same album.

There are now a number of Japanese mini album CDs of Martin’s solo and duo albums available – just last week a pirate version of his first album was released – but this is the only issue I can confirm as a legitimately licenced product. As it’s also the only one I actually own I can’t vouch for the quality of any other releases in terms of the overall packaging or sound quality so I guess a general ‘buyer beware’ warning should go along with any of these items. And of course, it goes without saying that neither Martin nor Topic Records (or any of the other relevant artists or labels) will receive the necessary royalties from pirate releases.


Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy, 24 April 2017

27 April 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 27 April 2017

Here are a few shots from when I caught up with Martin in Stockport a couple of days ago. The Midway is a regular venue that probably seats less than a hundred and has a classic folk club feel. This was a re-arranged gig after Martin had been too ill to perform two weeks earlier.

He again made a comment about “leaving things behind”, this time when introducing High Germany. The set was very similar to recent gigs but with the unusual addition of Bows Of London, played on guitar for apparently only the third time in public (as an attempt to ‘challenge himself’).

There were noticeable cracks in both his Martin and Fylde guitars which he reported were made at the hands of airport baggage handlers. I’ve tried to highlight the damage on these cropped images but they’re not very clear. All but one of these are of the Martin guitar:

First set:
Her Servant Man
High Germany
The Trees They Do Grow High
The Downfall Of Paris
When I Was A Little Boy
Sir Patrick Spens
Bill Norrie
A Stitch In Time

Second set:
Long John
The Heroes of St Valery
Oor Hamlet
Bows of London
Willie’s Lady
The Devil and the Feathery Wife
Harry Lime Theme (encore)


Carthy & Swarb 2017 Record Store Day release

9 April 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 9 April 2017

No Songs RSD1

Fledg’ling Records will release a newly-remastered version of Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick’s rare 1967 EP “No Songs” for UK Record Store Day (RSD) on 22 April 2017. “No Songs” has been one of Carthy’s harder to find releases and this is the first time it has been reissued in its entirety since 1967. Only a couple of tracks have received limited release on CD.

image

The new version will feature a facsimile reproduction of the original front-laminated, flipback outer sleeve and a new inner sleeve illustrated with rare photographs. The limited edition 50th anniversary release commemorates the life of Carthy’s long-term musical partner Swarb, who died in 2016.

image

As with all RSD releases this will only be available to buy in person on 22 April at participating UK stores but unsold copies of previous RSD releases from both Fledg’ling and Topic Records have been made available to buy online shortly after the actual day.

VIEW “No Songs” in DISCOGRAPHY


Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy, 21 January 2017

22 January 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 22 January 2017

Here are a few shots from Martin’s gig at the historic Band On The Wall in Manchester last night. An interesting gig in that he mentioned during the second half that he’s not made an album in ten years (actually, it’s closer to 13!) and that the frustrating thing about making albums is that you end up “leaving things behind” so he’s been actively revisiting some older material in recent times. This led to him playing Bruton Town, which I’ve never heard him play before, and High Germany, which he’s had in his current set on-and-off for a couple of years. None of this is new as he revisits old material consistently but I also recall that he played Streets Of Forbes (which he named ‘Ben Hall’) at his 2015 Band On The Wall gig so I wonder if this is a long preamble to some sort of recording project where he revisits older material. I could ask him of course, but where’s the fun in that?

First set:
Her Servant Man
John Barleycorn
The Trees They Do Grow High
Sir Patrick Spens
The Downfall Of Paris
Bill Norrie
A Stitch In Time

Second set:
Don’t Go In Them Lion’s Cage Tonight
Long John
Young Morgan
Georgie
Swaggering Boney
Bruton Town
High Germany
My Son John
Funeral Party (Invitation To A Funeral)
Prince Heathen
The Devil And The Feathery Wife (encore)

 


NormaFest reviewed

9 January 2017

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 9 January 2017

I’ve just returned from this year’s NormaFest, the Carthy/Waterson family get-together in Whitby that celebrates the work of family matriarch Norma Waterson, and it was a fantastic celebration of family, friendship, and tradition. I was ‘off duty’ and didn’t catch everything as I was taking it easy due to illness but luckily NorthernSky‘s Allan Wilkinson captured the whole weekend in vivid detail with his trusty SLR and described everything in his detailed review. Please check out Allan’s review on Northern Sky and photo album on Flikr.

normafest-review

normafest-flikr


Martin Carthy: “The Bonny Lass of Anglesey”

2 October 2016

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 2 October 2015

Here’s another video of the Crosley Cruiser record player. This is the single version of “The Bonny Lass of Anglesey” from 1976.

Martin Carthy: Vocals, guitar
Tony Cox: Synthesiser

Trad/Arr. Carthy

7″ single
b/w
Palaces of Gold

Released in the UK 1976 by Topic Records STOP 7002

Also on the album “Crown Of Horn
First released in the UK 1976 by Topic Records 12TS300


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