LET'S get one thing straight - this man is a national treasure. For 30-odd years he has been making great albums, playing memorable gigs, pushing boundaries.
He has seen hard times too, not least during the past year, when an infection led to the amputation of his right leg below the knee.
So an understandable swell of sympathy surged through the audience as he hobbled on stage but, sadly, this was not Martyn's finest hour. There was a good version of Catching the Last Train Home,1 but on Sweet Little Mystery came the first signs that Martyn's voice was maybe not tip-top.
The highlight was a short acoustic session where the band took a break and the man himself reeled off Jellyroll Blues and May You Never. Don't Want to Know and (especially) Big Muff were good too, but by the end of the encore, Johnny Too Bad, you got the feeling that Martyn, was just too weary to go on.
1 Man In The Station.
This review was published in the Dorset Echo of 3 May 2004