The Flytrap, Fremantle
21 January 2012
By Michelle Hamer
Sitting in a cramped intimate room full to the brim waiting for Jeff to come on the heat inside the room was incredible thinking I would not be able to last long for lack of air. Jeff casually enters the room along with his percussionist Malcolm Clark from 777, and the intense heat was soon forgotten by all from the minute Jeff picked up the 12 string and opened his mouth.
Jeff belted out tunes with a look in his eye as if he were a man possessed - totally committed. His voice as always never failed to deliver pitch perfect every time and his guitar playing is second to none. He would, as he always manages to do, start with a classic Tea Party song then intertwine a Zep, Doors, NIN song into the mix with the transition hardly being noticed. Nailing a version of Kashmir, he even seemed to have left his mark on this Led Zeppelin classic and made it into something of his own.
The shift in the crowds energy when he sang Coming Home and Messenger were noticeable: not a still body in the room! Songs were performed from his Tea Party days to Jeff Martin 777 with hardly a break for a bit of a breather. Riverland Rambler from the album The Ground Cries Out was done with such energy I thought the slide was going to burn his finger!
All of this was done with borrowed guitars from fellow musicians and friends including John Butler as Jeff's guitars had not made it over from Byron Bay, which is now where he resides. Even Jeff's son Django's new Maton half size made an appearance on stage and was played effortlessly. A few broken strings through out the night didn't stop Jeff from doing what he was there to do and that is play, sing and entertain the crowd.
Malcolm Clark was exceptionally good also, with his and Jeff's chemistry making for such an amazing sound that nothing more was needed on the stage.
In summing this up, I am a huge fan of Jeff's so am biased, but I can say that as hot as it was in that tiny room I was once again totally mesmerised by Jeff Martin, who never fails to deliver an outstandingly raw, intense and totally committed performance every time. He truly is one uniquely gifted musician.
Review posted 3 May, 2012