Friday, July 12, 2013

Martin and Jim

Martin and Jim have evolved their performance to a delicately-balanced perfection. Jim's theory is 'if you don't need to play, don't play' and his minimalist approach brings subtlety alongside his years of knowledge about music and how to fit instrumentation together seamlessly to create a whole. Martin surprises Jim, and Jim surprises Martin; Martin hears his songs in a new way as he performs them and Jim finds a new challenge in working for a musician who draws material from cupboards in his head that he hid them away in years ago, or who challenges both of them with a new key or a new arrangement every night.
In Leeds, the audience was stuffed with guitarists. I could tell because I was watching their feet and each person was tapping differently according to what they were hearing in the guitar parts, which wasn't necessarily the obvious thing. And even when I played a bit at the start, it was my fingers on the guitar neck the guys in the front row were watching, looking for licks. The two of them are playing at Darwen tonight and Solihull tomorrow before heading home for a well-earned rest. They will miss each other. Meanwhile, in my own head I have created a new story for Viz called simply, 'Jim'. In each frame, Jim looks left or right. He does not speak or move; his hands are resting lightly on the top of his guitar. On his face is 'that' expression: barely concealed disgust with a pinch of good-humoured ridicule. In the last frame, he shifts imperceptibly and says 'It'll aal end in tee-az!'.

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