“It’s hard to get up, it’s really hard to get up at 2 o’clock in the afternoon” Dom Martin informs the crowd with his quiet Irish tones. Dom Continues “This is my last gig in the UK [for now], and I’ve been away from Ireland so long that I feel like I’m one you!”.
Tonight, Dom Martin’s gig is in a little village called Diseworth which is only a short distance from the site of the UK’s largest rock festival “Download”. As the sixty or so attendees enter the venue, they are met with a small stage upon which there is a seat, a few lit candles and a rack containing three of Dom’s guitars. A little after 8 the charismatic Belfast musician made his way onto the stage. Instead of launching straight into his set Dom took his time to introduce himself and get to know the crowd in front of him.
Removing the first of his guitars, a semi acoustic resonator from the rack beside him, Dom began to tell a story about the green painted guitar in his hands. Starting its life out of the box as a chrome guitar, Dom took to spray painting the body to remove some of its shine. Dom explains he has tried a rainbow of colours before settling on green we see in front of us. And like most of Dom’s little stories tonight the funny quip at the end was when he told the crowd the guitar still had a strong smell of paint with the fumes getting him high.
Dom doesn’t hide his love of Irish singer/songwriter Rory Gallagher and opens his set with the first two songs, “I Could’ve Had Religion” and “Railway And Gun”. He reminisces with the Diseworth crowd of receiving a cassette tape from his farther when he was only a child. “I cello taped the cassette together so many times” Dom Said.
With the audience clapping in appreciation as the songs ended, Dom thanks the crowd for their warm welcome. Dom asks the crowd if any could play the guitar. No one raises their hands which allowed Dom to joke with the crowd by asking them how they got through their lives. Explaining to the crowd the guitar is Dom’s therapy. From the moments his dad taught him to play, the guitar has been there for him no matter the situation. And there’s been some situations in Dom’s life from being kidnapped by the local Belfast ‘establishment’ and his rise from the darkness of drug and alcohol abuse, the guitar has been his saviour. ‘We all have this story?” Dom asks the crowd. The middle-class audience were silent in their reply which allowed Dom to complete his story humorously “Are you all from the rich part of town?” to which the room burst into laughter.
Using an acoustic guitar Dom went on to perform “Easy Way Out” and “Echo’s” his fingers dancing expertly over the neck of the guitar whilst his hand plucked away at the strings of the guitar. Being a solo performance tonight Dom captivates the audience with his playing and poignant lyrics.
Another story from Dom’s childhood, this time about watching “The Deerhunter” with his farther when he was 6 or 7 years old. Dom remarks about watching the slow-paced movie before the chaos of the Vietnam War depicted by explosions and flame throwers. “We didn’t need to watch the film, all we had to do was open the curtains” as he compares the streets of his childhood Belfast to the warzone of Vietnam. Dom then performs his version of the films theme tune “Cavatina” demonstrating his true mastery of the guitar.
Before making his way into the final few songs of the evening Dom Martin gave thanks to his close friends and managers Audrey and Fenton, without whom he feels he wouldn’t be here tonight performing on stage. Dom stated that he now sees a future for himself with his music helping fans through their own hardships that life has thrown at them. Dom then plays a John Martyn song “The Easy Blues” which he introduces by saying “There is nothing easy about this song, it has taken me three years to learn, and the mistakes are free!”.
Dom Picks up the last of his three guitars which is a handmade Telecaster called “Shamrock”. The guitar was made for Dom in the style of his own idol Rory Gallagher’s Stratocaster. The custom-built guitar arrived on Rory Gallagher’s birthday which, according to Dom, was a message from the legend himself. Ending the set with a tribute to Rory, Dom performs “Should Have Learned My Lesson” treating the Diseworth Audience to one last experience of his amazing fretwork abilities as his hand travels the neck of the guitar playing the bluesy tune.
It’s been great to attend this intimate Dom Martin show in Leicestershire. His career and support are gathering traction which will surely see him on the larger stages he is destined for. With some of the best guitar work I have ever seen it is easy to recommend getting tickets for a Dom Martin gig near you.
Some of the best Blues Rock you will ever see! – Dom Martin Gig Review @ Rock News