Singer and songwriter Martin Stephenson (pictured above), whose career in music stretches back over 35 years, is to appear at the Apex later this month with his band The Daintees
As a table-tennis playing 11-year-old, Martin was introduced to the music of Santana, Frank Zappa and Leonard Cohen, before moving to Punk and New Wave in his mid-teens.
His introduction to live music was Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, thanks to his sister.
He began as a busker aged 15 and he recalls a particularly good day.
“Just after I started playing a saxophonist and a couple of other horn players wandered up to me asking if they could jam with me, I just said I’ve never played with others – he replied ‘play your guitar we’ll do the rest’ and soon there was a circle of 50 folks surrounding us, my case filled up to the brim with money, soon they set about to leave and I said ‘What about the money?’ He looked at me, checked the blue sky and smiling remarked … ‘keep it, we’ll earn some more.’
“There was so much money in that case I had to shut it tight and carry the guitar home separate and immediately.”
Martin formed his band The Daintees in 1986; one of the first bands to sign to the Newcastle-based label Kitchenware, they released four critically acclaimed albums (“Boat To Bolivia”, “Gladsome Humour and Blue”, “Salutation Road” and “The Boys Heart”), before splitting in 1992.
In 2019, Billy Connolly paid a visit to Martin’s home as part of Billy’s “Made in Scotland” BBC TV programme, in which Connolly warmly described Martin as “his kind of musician and songwriter” and the song “Rain” from “Boat to Bolivia” was heavily featured.
2000 saw the reformation of the Daintees and Martin now splits his time between solo and band albums and annual celebratory Daintees UK tours
Martin Stephenson and The Daintees play The Apex on Tuesday, November 29. Tickets are available from www.theapex.co.uk or 01284 758000.