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Liz Martin can shake a tambourine with the best of them...she
credits her upbringing within the Salvation Army as the reason
for her aptitude at this rhythmic instr ument. For what better
place to learn stage craft then a tent revival show ? Yes?
Mar tin laughingly ag re es: “I ’ve shaken a tambourine until I had
blisters on my fing ers. I can still slap out a few moves if need be.” Still
the sing er song writer believes that one of the “good thing s” about her
upbringing in the Salvos, is “that they LOVE music. Love it!”.
“Be it a brass band , a choir, or a “contemporar y” rock band thing ,
they are all for it.... It means that I was surrounded by music and fine
musicians for all those years I was g rowing up within the Salvo world.”
In fact she confesses she even found herself giving a bit of a nod to
her musical roots when writing her new album Dance a Little, Live a
Little, “I found myself adding little horn lines in to the music – like
old style horns, trombones and trumpets – and a tiny little tambourine
features in one song.”
Like most musicians, Martin’s love affair with music began at an
early ag e. “I always loved it,” she confesses. “I think I realised I had the
bug when I saw my first guitar. I was se ven. My mum bought it for me.
I saw it. Mum saw me see it. And she bought it for me. A very unusual
splurg e on my mother ’s part, we were far from loaded - but then she
loves music too.”
These days her musical influences cut a swath through several
decades and it’s certainly an ecle ctic list. She cites David Bowie, S erg e
Gainsbourg , The Beatles, Paul Simon, Sting , Chet Baker, Nina Simone,
Tina Harrod, Grace Jones, Joan as Police Woman, Le onard Cohen and
Talking Heads as all having influenced her music over the years.
Presse d to describe her sound she ponders, “it’s hard to box in to
a style”. “In this latest album you can hear references to Glam rock,
Hebrew melodies, New Orleans big bands, Parisian noir thrillers and
sci-fi romanticism... I guess it’s a little bit pop, a little jazz, a little folk .
It makes sense when you listen to it... and all the different genres fit
tog ether beautifully...”
Despite its happy go lucky title, Dance a Little, Live a Little was an
album born out of pain... Recovering from hip surg er y, Martin says
music helped her navigate the long days ahead of her...
“I had six months to recover and writing music provided the best
distraction to long days and a lot of physical pain. I wrote the songs,
recorded demo versions of them at home, played in parts, sang little
horn lines etcetera . It was fun and distracting and fulfilling .”
Once she was back on her fe et, she enlisted the help of bassist Dave
“Tog ether we went about finding the right combination of musicians
and re cording a ver y playful, live album. The result is something ver y
different to what I’ve done before in terms of instrumentation, style of
song s, or even in terms of deliver y. But I think it will still make sense to
people. I don’t think people will be disappointed.”
Liz’s album Dance a Little, Live a Little is out now through iTunes.
Liz Martin learns to dance a little...
By Cec Busby
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