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Growing up with the sounds of crooners and jazz singers, then being introduced to the recordings of the likes of Davy Graham, Paul Simon and Tom Paxton, it became obvious that music - and in particular, the guitar - was always going to feature heavily in Martin Lennon’s future.
Learning Davy Graham’s seminal Anji propelled him away from Bert Weedon’s Play In A Day and onto the kind of ‘Folk, Blues And Beyond’ that Graham had promised. Within a few months he had begun writing songs.
When the first multi-track cassette recorders became available, Lennon would hire them for a few days at a time, capturing songs at first, then writing instrumentals which would later be used as theatre soundtracks, exhibition soundscapes, as demos for music for a TV documentary, and finally dance music used during 1986’s Commonwealth Arts Festival in Edinburgh and in his own ensemble, Electric Motion Dance Company.
After a stint playing covers in bars, Lennon formed a ceilidh band whose line-up included the bass player who would work with him for over 15 years and counting, Andy Gilmour. Travelling around his native Scotland, England, Ireland and, on one memorable occasion, India, the band revived his interest in writing and performing his own songs once more.
While writing and performing new songs, Lennon began writing reviews for his local paper – theatre, poetry, comedy and, of course, music – while writing about it, he was soaking up the atmosphere, learning about pitfalls and picking up tips which would later fuel his own assault on culture.
On his 50th birthday he launched Crow - his debut CD of songs (featuring his own painting as the cover). The launch party was held on his actual birthday in front of an invited audience of friends and musical collegues. Some alcohol was consumed.