This time last week I was getting ready to set off for Milton Keynes, yet the memory of the concert is still fresh in my mind.
With the show being titled 'My Private Collection', I somehow pictured Marti seated, in one of his suits and maybe we'd get mainly covers of songs he likes, possibly from the two Love to Love albums. It was a big surprise then, for him to appear through the auditorium, casually dressed, to the lively intro of Mysterious and a band filling the small stage, with Grant leading on keys and with drums, guitar, upright electric bass and 2 backing singers. It was evidently going to be a much livelier show than I'd imagined.
I really enjoy the reworking of Sweet Little Mystery and Close to You and whilst I have heard those arrangements before, it impresses me that Marti will take these songs we know so well and put time into giving them a new lease of life, without taking away the familiarity.
It was a great mix of songs with, gladly, plenty of Marti's solo back catalogue as well as some WWW and some covers we haven't heard him sing before. At first I wondered why his own songs and WWW songs would be part of his private collection, but they are, of course, part of his musical history, as are the personal explanations he gave of the songs' origins.
The covers of Jackson Browne's 'Something Fine' and James Taylor's 'Enough to be on Your Way' were especially mesmerising, particularly with Marti sharing his reason for that choice with us. They're songs I didn't know but once again, Marti introduced me to something new.
To be perfectly honest, there were a couple of covers of songs which I have never liked . However, to listen to Marti sing them in his warm & passionate way was an absolute pleasure!
Musically, the highlight of the show for me was Let the Sun Walk You Home. Marti's explanation of where he got the idea for the song, set the scene for what, for me, is one of his best and most emotional songs and I think that performance of it will stay with me for a long time.
All this, coupled with the special venue that The Stables is, a very appreciative audience, Marti's evident pleasure and enjoyment plus his warm & relaxed interaction with his audience made for a HUGELY enjoyable evening.
I'm VERY much looking forward to what's in store.