18.01.2004 11:16 - Martin Newell
Martin Newell may be a familiar name to anyone who read the Independent, as the writer of Roger Woddis-like topical verses. However, there\'s a bit more to Newell than that - he\'s also a performer, and the brains behind \"The Cleaners From Venus\". His homemade tapes, put together on a little four-track, were distributed around the world by means of the cassette underground, and latterly, after a nasty brush with the music business, he\'s begun to release proper CDs, but still home-made on a friend\'s home digital recording setup.
Newell\'s music is best-described as very British, and very jangly. Comparisons have been drawn with the Beatles, late XTC (Andy Partridge of XTC actually produced \"The Greatest Living Englishman\", arguably Newell\'s best album) and various other 1960\'s original/influenced acts. Newell himself admits that \"If that\'s the sort of stuff you like, you may very well like this\".
Back in 1996, upon first hearing the story of \"The Cleaners From Venus\", I was inspired to start recording my own album of songs, which, since my old band \"The Simpletons\" broke up, had been lying in my songbook unplayed. I was also inspired to attempt to start an internet-based version of the cassette underground by writing the Banddb website (which doesn\'t exist any more).
Last year, after about five years of on-off work, it was finally finished. It\'s initially available as a CD-R, as I can\'t afford to have it fully duplicated, and I don\'t think I\'d be able to shift the minimum order of 500. There\'s a separate website for it, and I will be selling it through a webshop eventually (through www.fivetrees.com). In the meantime, if you are interested in buying it, contact me and we\'ll see what we can work out.
 Roger Woddis was best-known for his topical verse in the \"Radio Times\". He also wrote for television, writing for \"That Was The Week That Was\" and the episode \"Hammer Into Anvil\" of \"The Prisoner\".