Monday, 5 March 2018

Martin Springett: The Gardening Club (1983)

Written by: Kev Rowland

Martin Springett is probably best-known as an artist, but over the years he has also released some albums, and this one from 1983 has just been reissued by Gonzo. I had not heard of Martin, and it was only because I had read a review in the mighty Gonzo magazine (what do you mean you don’t read it? As Jon says, “It’s stylish, it’s witty, it’s subversive, it’s free. It’s everything you want from a music magazine”. I was intrigued, and knew that I had to find out more, so soon had a copy sent to deepest darkest New Zealand. To say that I was blown away on hearing it is something of an understatement. That this is a classic isn’t even up for debate, the only question in my mind is how on earth has this been missed by progheads? It all has to be down to timing, if it had been released ten years earlier then it would have been written about by the mainstream press, but back in the early Eighties it was hard to discover any prog unless you had a frontman called Fish – even Twelfth Night and Pallas suffered, so an ex-pat living in Canada didn’t stand a chance.
But, thanks to Gonzo we all now have the opportunity to relish this. Think ‘Breathless’ era Camel, combining forces with Steve Hackett and Anthony Phillips, and it is an album which made me smile from the first song to the very last. I must make mention of Bob Brough, who contributes some very fine soprano sax, and makes instrumentals such as “The Traveller” very much his own. There is a great deal to discover and enjoy on the album, with songs making way for instrumentals, 12-string acoustic guitars to electric, always with a strong sense of melody. It is dream, it is reflective, it is pastoral, it is very simply bloody excellent! This is simply one of the finest reissues I have ever come across in terms of pure musical enjoyment. To find out more about Martin, his art and his music, then visit his website. All progheads should have this: I personally could play it all day and not get tired of it

The Gardening Club
CD - £9.99

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