Martyn Joseph gave a stunning performance at Mottram, delivering songs of passion, integrity and empathy to an audience who hung on his every word and note.
The first half drew heavily on his two most recent albums, the self-penned Here Come the Young and his latest Days of Decision, the songs of Phil Ochs. Opening with Get Back to You, Martyn was immediately into his stride and followed this with an impassioned Here Come the Young, a song of praise to todays much maligned younger generation. Driving Her Back to London struck a chord with anyone who has ever dropped off a child who was leaving home, before a stirring Sing to My Soul led into the first of two Phil Ochs numbers, I Ain't Marching Any More and That Was the President. The first half concluded with a beautifully sung This Glass and the epic Lonely Like America, intertwined with its Springsteen lyrics and references.
After a much-deserved break, the second half started with the poignant Luxury of Despair and Oh My Soul, before the beautiful and lyrical Cardiff Bay and Ralph McTell's Streets of London, sadly as relevant today as it was more than 45 years ago when it was first written. Treasure the Questions and 12 Years Old, a real blast from the past, followed before Martyn went walkabout in the audience for a stunning rendition of On My Way. I Searched for You, with its rousing call and response chorus, led into Let Yourself and then Martyn's hymn to the NHS, Nye, brought the crowd to its feet for a deserved standing ovation. Some days Coming and Phil Ochs' I'm Gonna Say it Now brought an awesome evening to a close, one that will live long in the memories of all who were there.
The world is a better place for Martyn Joseph and his music, long may he continue to shine and deliver performances of this quality and integrity, awesome indeed!