Martin Harley was in town on Friday at the start of a short tour, which will see him sprinting backwards and forwards across BC of the next week or so. He is set to play seven gig during his stay. This traverse through the southern half of the province will not be much a challenge. In the past Martin, has taken part in what was the Highest Gig in the World at the time, travelled through Western Africa and did a concert tour of northern on England on a bicycle in the Blues Gone Green Tour – 27 gigs in a month, covering 1,200 miles.
Martin has just released his latest album “Static in the Wires”, Martin’s seventh album, and the second with bassist Daniel Kimbro.
The celebrated guitarist kicked of this trip at The Fox Cabaret in Vancouver, supported by the Wild Romantics.
Despite battling a sore throat which he fought off with a combination of whiskey, water, and “Canadian convenience store honey”, Martin put on a great show. This was Martins second visit to Vancouver, after performing at last year’s Vancouver Folk Music Festival, and it appeared that much of the audience had returned after seeing him after his first visit.
Between songs Martin was funny, and displayed a self-deprecating humour that went down well with the crowd. His banter often revolving around the depressing content of his lyrics of his songs, and hoping people had not come out to be cheered up.
Through the set martin switched between playing a traditional guitar and his more distinctive hollow necked Weissenborn guitar. Martin does excel on the Weissenborn, and can create an enormous wall of sound from it, as was demonstrated on the wonderful Blues at My Window. This track incidentally was preluded by a story of his aborted trip through Australia and a giant Holden. The trip, curtailed by speeding fines resulted in Martin taking a job making pancakes at a nunnery…
Martin ran through several tracks from the new album including One Horse Town, Dancing on Rocks, and Feet Don’t Fail Me. A notable preamble to Postcard From Hamburg, was his comparison of the famous red light district in that city and the fact that tonight’s gig was in a converted porn theatre. In addition to the new tracks he also played crowd favourites, including a waltzy Goodnight Irene, a cover of Vincent Black Lightning.
A thoroughly entertaining show from a very talented musician.