Posted by Drew Swainston.
Reviewed on 3rd February 2006.
Live at New Roscoe on Monday, 30th January 2006
On many occasions throughout history a tiny crowd has witnessed a great miracle. Throughout musical history small numbers have seen something magnificent, which has transpired for the artist to go beyond these initial setbacks to playing huge venues and sell millions of albums.
So onstage in front of a tiny handful of spectators, the majority of which are family and friends, stands singer-songwriter Martin Hughes alone with his guitar. A finalist in Leeds' Bright Young Things talent competition, Martin Hughes deserves for more people to hear his music, and on this performance they undoubtedly will.
Starting his set with the buoyant tune 'Pirates', almost immediately your ears prick up, toes start tapping, and you absorb the upbeat melodies that come flooding from the stage. To contrast this, during 'Evelyn', the song which is due to appear on the forthcoming Bright Young Things CD, you can effortlessly grasp the soulful emotion of the music. This is a prime example of one of Martin Hughes' songs which are truly dark and haunting yet overwhelmingly powerful and beautiful. It's the combination of upbeat jaunty melodies and dark brooding evocative songs which make Martin Hughes stand out from the crowd. Both moods are captured skilfully and your full spectrum of emotions are played with throughout the show.
During the quieter material you can hear powerful and raw emotions flooding through over the soothing tunes. However when the more upbeat melodies begin then you can embrace a great spark and a true promise that Martin Hughes can develop and entertain the masses.
Today is a great time to be troubadour, singer-songwriters are all the rage in the public eye. And with so many of them bland and whiny then Martin Hughes' new edge on traditional folk can see him stand out from the crowd. Combine with this his exquisite craftsmanship and the soulful lyrics and you can see true genuine talent with promise. Most definitely a bright young thing, Martin Hughes should be entertaining not just large crowds in Leeds, but interesting the masses nationwide.