Martin Stephenson’s live performances are an exuberant tour-de-force combining heart-in-your-mouth intimacy with playful humour and warm self-deprecation.
Inspired by early Cure and the Brighton scene, Martin Stephenson began his career as a busker aged 15. He then spent three years plying his trade as the guitar player in various bands in the Northeast of England. But Martin wanted more, he wanted to tell stories of his own and he was quickly developing ways of doing just that. He developed his song-writing technique by firstly learning a few licks from a Spanish guitar book and repeated the process with Jazz, Blues, Country, Skiffle, Reggae etc. Eventually, this glorious collision of styles would become the trademark which Martin has carried through his career of almost 40 years.
Martin Stephenson formed his band The Daintees, who became a busking sensation and were signed by Kitchenware at around the same time as Prefab Sprout and Hurrah! The band and indeed Martin have always been known for their incredible range of styles, each album covering a multitude of genres, tempos and moods. The hugely acclaimed 1986 debut Boat to Bolivia showcased Stephenson’s song writing, poetic romanticism and spiritual depth – so marking him out as a soulful cream of the leftfield crop during the self-obsessed 1980s.
Never pandering to a particular scene, Stephenson’s lightness of touch on a varied mix of musical styles was immediately apparent. His path was destined to be a lifelong journey through the music he loved: folk, ragtime, jazz, rockabilly, show tunes, punk-pop and country. The NME said of Martin’s song craft that he “builds bridges between love and hate, cradle and grave, folk and pop, past and present.” Stephenson’s restless troubadour spirit has amassed an extraordinary catalogue of some 40 albums, and he is a gifted, entertaining and much-loved performer.
John Perry is probably best known in Ireland for the blistering guitar solo that heralded the Dave Fanning show for several years from its start through the ‘80s. He is currently recording with Martin and will accompany him for much of the show.
Martin Stephenson (The Daintees)
Accompanied by John Perry (The Only Ones)
Tuesday, May 14th Doors 8.00pm Tickets €20
(Tickets available on Eventbrite or on the Door.)
The Wild Duck, 17/20 Sycamore St, Dublin 2
Phone: (01) 5356849 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thewildduck.ie