Thoughts on music as experienced through tv, in papers, on the web. If you work in the music business you get sent music and you’re kept abreast of everything… but most people don’t, and they experience music in a wide variety of ways. Music referenced in passing, or seeping into everyday life. That’s what I’m interested in.

I play primitive music on ramshackle guitars. I like Sam Amidon and Ray Stevens. Designs. Fair cook. On occasion, I write a song, usually with Mark Pringle.

I’m co-founder of Rock’s Back Pages, with Mark and Barney Hoskyns, was co-founder of a group called Hot!House. I write on music in the everyday world at Five Things Seen And Heard This Week, and blog occasionally on illustration and photography at Adventures in Commissioning. There are various musical projects at southwesternrecorders.com and martincolyer.com.

Inspiration Information: Greil Marcus, Ed Ward, Paul Williams, Joan Didion, Richard Williams, Anthony Lane, Laura Barton, Peter Guralnick, Marina O’Loughlin, Alex Ross, Marina Hyde and Barney Hoskyns.


  1. Charlie Banks says:

    Hello Martin – just started to follow. Delighted to see Brickyard Blues as an entree, so to speak. I recorded his set from Andy Kershaw’s Radio 1 show (I think he had a Saturday afternoon show at the time). Andy also had a set from Dan Penn (wonderful too). I think Mr T played piano to accompany Dan – not certain but…. About to play both sets and add to a playlist. Thanks! Charlie

    • Yes, you’re right, Charlie, that broadcast’s where this is from. Mr T did play along with both Dan Penn and Joe South, waiting and studying through the first verse of each song before adding lovely fills and supporting chords. Joe South was the only one of the five singer/songwriters brave enough to join in with everyone else’s performances (but then he was the guy who played on I Want You on Blonde On Blonde). The other two performers were Vic Chestnutt and Guy Clarke, and it was hosted by the brilliant Charlie Gillett.

  2. Charlie Banks says:

    Thanks, Martin….it’s all coming back. Yes, Joe South. On the thought of piano players, I’m a big admirer of Geraint Watkins and sort of connected to his new album – Moustique – he’s started playing fortnightly on Sunday afternoons at The Wheatsheaf in Tooting Bec, billed as Geraint Watkins & The Mosquitos. Effectively, it’s mainly Nick Lowe’s band and/or the guys who cover the sessions at nearby Goldtop Studios (Neil Brockbank). I think the next one is due on 11 May (all things being equal). I live in the Newcastle area but I’m hopeful of taking in one shortly (these things have a shelf life, I guess). Anyway, you may already know about it but if not, it might be of interest. Finally, I’m just getting properly acquainted with your blog but fascinated already. I’ve tipped off a few chums, so hopefully they’ll take an interest too. All power to your elbow!

  3. Thanks, Charlie, and didn’t know that about The Wheatsheaf. Saw GW backing Nick Lowe when he shared a bill with Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham at the Drury Lane Theatre, he’s a lovely keyboardist…

    • Charlie Banks says:

      Good morning, Martin

      Just an update in case you decide to try and catch Geraint Watkins & The Mosquitos at the Wheatsheaf. He’s next there on the afternoon of Sunday 18 May. His producer Neil Brockbank has just confirmed on Facebook. Charlie


  4. Charlie Banks says:

    Try this – I think it was probably recorded in Geraint’s living room. He’s on guitar this time and it’s rather nice, warm etc. He’s great live and always in good humour. A very nice bloke. I think Nick Lowe and Mark Lamarr were there the other week. Nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon

  5. Good morning, Martin. If you don’t already know, Neil Brockbank passed away on Tuesday after a brief battle with cancer. Nick Lowe gave a heartfelt, if not moving, tribute to him on Facebook. To my ears, Neil was an excellent producer and had great ears, and his studio Goldtop made some beautiful sounding recordings. Linked to that, he was the producer and recording engineer for Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s ‘Moments From This Theatre’ live album. There’s a lovely podcast from the guys from ‘The Word’ [no 124] that features him. I found it fascinating and insightful and he speaks passionately and knowledgeably about all sorts of music stuff. Comes across as a thoroughly nice man. I’ll try and find the link and send it to you. If you’ve a spare hour, I’m sure you’d appreciate it. Enjoy your weekend

  6. Hello again, Martin…here’s the link for ‘The Word’ podcast with Neil

  7. Hi Martin…this is Billy Bragg giving a talk about his book at the Library of Congress. About 25 mins in talks a lot about your uncle Ken


  8. Thanks, Charlie, very kind of you (sorry about tardy reply, have been living in a field the last couple of weeks!)

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