This month sees the re-issue of Martyn Bennett’s ground-breaking album ‘Grit’ by Real World Records in their Gold Series. The re-release of GRIT on 19 May will also coincide with the world premiere of a brand new theatre production based around Martyn’s life and work that will open at the Tramway in Glasgow on 3 June. We’ll be bringing you more on this soon from our reviewer Neil McFadyen who’s also a huge fan.
Martyn Bennett lost his life to cancer at the age of 33 on 30 January 2005. Despite being taken so young he crammed a hell of a lot into those years, he revolutionised the Scottish music scene taking traditional music to the modern dance floors. He is still a huge influence on many musicians today.
‘Move’ from the album Grit is our Song of the Day (best played loud):
Contains fragments from ‘Moving On Song’ written by Ewan MacColl, sung by Sheila Stewart of Rattray (courtesy of Lismor Recordings)
I have known Sheila Stewart since I was a youngster. A powerful and passionate singer, she comes from a family of travellers famous for their music and songs. Here she sings of the struggle and persecution of the Roma, who are the oldest race of nomadic people in Europe – they have certainly been in Scotland for well over a thousand years.
In November 2003, Martyn Bennett supported Peter Gabriel at a one-off concert in Brighton. Sadly it was to prove to be Martyn’s final live performance before his untimely death in 2005 at the age of just 33. In this clip, recorded on the night in Brighton, Peter reflects on the impact that hearing Martyn’s album GRIT for the first time had on him, as well as his thoughts on Martyn as an artist in general. You can listen to the short interview with Peter here, interwoven with some of the music from the GRIT album.