Singer Martin Stephenson takes a look back in time

Martin Stephenson, touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his album, Gladsome Humour and Blue
Martin Stephenson, touring to celebrate the 30th anniversary of his album, Gladsome Humour and Blue

Enduringly popular English troubadour Martin Stephenson plays Crookes Social Club on Sunday night.

Martin is touring again with his band The Daintees throughout November to mark the 30th anniversary of one of his most highly-regarded albums, Gladsome Humour and Blue, which he has re-recorded to mark the occasion.

Martin did a limited initial run of the new re-recorded version, which was covered by purchases from loyal Martin Stephenson and Daintees fans, or 'friends' as he prefers to call them.

These are a hard core of faithful followers whose support helps to fund his music and creativity.

It’s described as a more personalised form of crowdfunding.

The album topics created quite a stir at the time.

Martin used his music to bring to the forefront a number of social and political issues of the time such as on the track Wholly Humble Heart.

The song tells of a gay man's battle for love – to the backdrop of the hateful Clause 28 against homosexuality - and showed Martin's defiance in the face of injustice.

Never afraid to tackle controversial subjects, he remains a poetic champion of the underdog and oppressed.

Martin was born in Durham and raised in the nearby mining village of Washington.

“My teacher was like a cross between Allen Ginsberg and Jim Morrison, he was like this Vietnam hippie,” said Martin.

“He had a massive cosmic perception and taught loads of young lads from rough backgrounds how to get rid of the competitive spirit that brought a lot of unhappiness.”

Martin formed The Daintees in his teens, intending to showcase a broad range of musical styles.

Their first single, Roll On Summertime, appeared in 1984.

The band signed to Newcastle record label Kitchenware Records,which had a roster that included Prefab Sprout, Hurrah! and the Kane Gang.

The band’s 1986 debut album Boat To Bolivia displayed an extraordinary maturity, from the country charm of Candle In The Middle to the Cohenesque acoustics of Rain, and sounds as fresh today as it did then.

A degree of UK chart success followed with the top 40 albums Gladsome, Humour & Blue in 1988 and Salutation Road in 1990.

After 1992 album The Boy's Heart, Martin called time on the original Daintees, setting about a solo career and the prolific outpouring of material that shows no sign of slowing down.

Never pandering to a particular scene, his dexterity and ease with a varied mix of musical styles was immediately apparent.

Martin’s music is influenced by all the styles he loves, including folk, ragtime, jazz, rockabilly, punk-pop and country blues.

He has toured with John Martyn , Roy Buchanan, Aztec Camera, Microdisney, The Go-Betweens, Hothouse Flowers, Bob Geldof, Del Amitri, Janis Ian, Indigo girls and Melissa Etheridge, but is described as remaining endearingly modest and unaffected.

The concert takes place on Sunday (November 11) at the club on Mulehouse Road at 7.30pm.

For tickets, go online at

Martin Stephenson & The Daintees