Five Things: The Book!

Cover1Released on Friday, and available at Amazon in the US, Europe and Great Britain, “Five Things I Saw and Heard This Week” is an offbeat take on music in everyday life, whether heard on screens, in supermarkets or on stages. From award shows to obscure acts, I follow my interests to end up down some fascinating cul-de-sacs. Fact-filled, entertaining, informative and inspiring in equal measure, “Five Things” will make you search out hidden gems in your record collection or on the world wide web, and possibly introduce you to your next favourite musician.

Cover2Five Things I Saw and Heard This Week, Volume One, July 2018

Published by martinworkbench&co. / Independent Publishing Network

ISBN 978-1-78926-180-6

209.5mm wide x 152.5mm deep

212 pages with Full Colour throughout!

Price (UK) £19.99 (EU) €24.99 (US) $27.99
Sorry about the toppy price, but the whole print-on-demand thing gets expensive when you want a particular format in full colour with bleed. On the plus side, I don’t have boxes of books jamming up the studio, never to be sold. Here are a couple of random spreads to give you a taste…

5T Spreads

At the foot of the pages, you’ll find recommended songs, relevant to an item on that page, or Google tags that will take you to videos or articles mentioned. Most can be found on Spotify or YouTube, but where the songs are super obscure and hard to find, there’s a type mark, †, which tells you that the song is part of a Zip file that I will happily send if you email me. Here’s the tracklisting for that.

Five Shadow

The book is edited by Rick Ball, with a foreword by Richard Williams and a cover illustration by Sam Falconer.

Kevin Cheeseman has made a Spotify playlist to accompany the book, featuring almost all of the songs that are mentioned at the foot of the pages. That’s 142 songs. Great work, Kevin!

All best, Martin


  1. Congratulations Martin that looks stunning. I have a copy of your book on your uncle Ken, and that’s an exemplary piece of work.

    • Oh, thanks, Chris. I’m just looking at your blog and reading about Blue Smoke, so congratulations to you also. And I love the sound of Arthur ‘Turntable’ Pearce…

  2. Congratulations Martin..! I’ve just ordered a copy. Maybe the time to thank you for all the entertainment, insight and variety you provide me with. Always a welcome sight to see the emails drop into my inbox. So, it’ll be terrific to actually hold your writings.. Carry on as you were…!!

  3. …by the by, Martin. I know you’re a Ry Cooder admirer. Is there anything in the book referring him? Reason I ask is that I follow a Facebook group ‘Ry Cooder Fans’ so I can point people to the book. I’m going to do that anyway…

    • I don’t think so. It covers 2012 -2014 and Ry was a little quiet (at least as far as I knew) in that period. I bet the group are getting pretty excited now!

  4. Congratulations. Have placed an order with Amazon, pity you’re not doing signed copies. Always a pleasure to receive your emails and see that we on the same page (sometimes), thinking of the Fazey Ford album, what a little gem.
    You’re carrying the baton for music blogging now that Richard W is MIA.
    PS. Did you get to taste Dylan’s “Heavens Gate”?

  5. Looks amazing, Martin – have just ordered my copy!

  6. Chanced upon your work when Richard Williams gave credit for his blog’s layout, and have been grateful since for the generous way you pass on enthusiasm; so, am thrilled to have a chance to hold a hard copy, but is there a way to buy directly, rather than through Amazon? If not, I understand, am simply glad you’ve gone ahead in spite of the crazily select number of subscribers to Five ThIngs.


  7. I’m about half way through your book, Martin and loving it. It’s such an easy, compulsive read and I can’t resist listening to the songs and following the suggested leads on the internet. I also couldn’t resist making a Spotify playlist from the tracks you mention on each page (I’m nerdy like that) which other readers might find useful. In fact, at normal reading speed the tracks are perfectly synchronised to the book* . I hope you approve. If you spot any errors either of omission (but one or two were not on Spotify) or using the wrong version, let me know and I’ll try to fix it.
    Of course, you could make a whole other playlist of the songs you mention in the text, but that’s for another day…

    * I made that bit up

  8. Kevin… that’s not nerdy, that’s… fantastic! I’m so happy that you’ve done that. Can I share it on the page that I’ll do for the Five Things Book?

    • That’s a relief. I guess I can edit the note on the playlist that says it’s ‘unauthorised’ now. Yes – I’d be delighted if you shared it.
      By the way there are a couple of duplicates on there (I Never Loved A Man the Way I Love You and King Harvest Has Surely Come) where I was not sure if I maybe should have selected a different version (?).
      Anyway, it was fun doing it and I’m pleased you’re happy with it.

  9. I’ll listen and maybe suggest alternates for those… thanks again, Kevin

  10. Ok, Kevin. Very few changes. I think these are available on Spotify!

    Spanish Is the… should be from the Another Self Portrait (The Bootleg Series), but Spotify has that track greyed out. Maybe lose it, as the “Dylan” version is so bad!

    Back to Memphis from Levon and the RCO all-stars Live at the Palladium 1977
    Junior Wells, Help Me from Chicago/The Blues/ Today! Vol 1

    That’s it! Did I put Aretha’s “I Never” twice? I’ll correct that in the book! You could just lose one.

    • Right….
      I’ve cut Dylan’s Spanish tongue out. I can’t see the version you mention at all – maybe Spotify is detecting it on your computer as a local file (e.g. on iTunes)? No matter. The playlist now gets off to a much stronger start.
      I’ve replaced the Levon and Junior Wells tracks with your preferred versions.
      The duplicates of The Band (King Harvest) are on p27 and p133. The duplicates of Aretha are on p81 and p166. I’ve left the duplicate tracks in the playlist for now – they’re a long way apart, so no big deal.
      Also – I can’t find Mel & Tim’s ‘Puppet’ at all on Spotify (p201).
      Finally: if you are able to make corrections at this stage, the title of Robbie Fulks’ song (p186) is ‘The Buck Starts Here’ (you fulked up his joke).

      • Very perceptive on the Robbie Fulks reference, Kevin.

        In Spotify News, I’ve dumped the second Aretha “Loved a Man” for Ray Charles’ “The Danger Zone”…

  11. Ha! Good work, Kevin. And you can’t find Puppet as it’s by James & Bobby Purify, not Mel & Tim! They did “Backfield in Motion”… more corrections…

  12. There’s a heck of a lot of Ray Charles on Spotify and yet the only version of The Danger Zone I could find is a live one.
    …and so I’ve slotted this into the playlist in the appropriate place. If you know a better version on Spotify, by all means point me at it.
    Thanks for the name check, by the way, very grateful. If you could see your way to correcting the spelling of my name, I’d be even more grateful ; ) Cheers.

    • Blimey, Kevin..!! Well done..started listening.. I’ll have to do it in lumps. Thank you..! Great tunes.. Danger Zone a terrific song and Percy Mayfield’s own version great too. See what happens when you’re a catalystic converter, Martyn, as Hilda Baker might have said

  13. Done!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: