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Ok, Martin finally got some press! Thanks, in no small part, to Eric Tanby a reader who felt moved to write to Mojo bemoaning a lack of mention of great English artists like our Martin. Mojo promised to write a review when Attic came out and they duly did. Shame they couldn't have found someone who knew a bit about the subject, or even bothered to look him up on the net or something, but otherwise we are pretty pleased with these reviews. Q amazed us with a review, so that nasty woman must have gone. If you spot any anywhere else, please email them in to paul@martinnewell.co.uk


MARTIN NEWELL - "RADIO AUTUMN ATTIC" (NEW RELEASE APRIL 2002) (CHERRY RED CDB RED 206) Erstwhile "most published poet" in the UK and regular muse contributor to THE INDEPENDENT, Martin Newell is already well established in literary and critical circles, but remains something of a marginal figure musically. A ludicrous state of affairs, really, because to write off Newell's music as peripheral is a grave error. The merest exposure to Cherry Red's previous "Wayward Genius" collection is enough to whet the most jaded appetites and new studio album "Radio Autumn Attic" follows through: another unmissable salvo from the man railing against music's "well-serious brigade." Not that there's anything remotely shabby or jokey about the crafting of NEWELL'S songs. Indeed, "Radio Autumn Attic" presents a dozen - yes! - quintessentially English examples of fine, intuitive pop song writing, topped off with NEWELL'S witty and slightly laconic vocals. Having actually operated in and around the music scene for nigh on twenty years (sometimes with the legendary CLEANERS FROM VENUS), it's no surprise Martin has previously worked with the likes of XTC'S ANDY PARTRIDGE as songs like opener "The Duchess Of Leylandia" have a similar flair for narrative lyrics, winning harmonies, BEATLE-esque arrangements and quirky subject matters. Actually, MARTIN NEWELL definitely requires to be viewed in the great tradition of English songwriting also propagated by Partridge, Luke Haines and certainly Robyn Hitchcock. The man he (superficially) resembles most to this writer, especially in the ability both men have in creating all kinds of weird 'n' wonderful shapes out of classic guitar pop. "Radio Autumn Attic" displays this knack in very generous proportions. He can do linear: witness both "Beat Street" and "Life As A Broken Doll". These possess a very special janglesome quality, with spangly guitars and vocals transmitted straight from Heaven above. But he does so much more, too. Linked by some amusing (and Python-style) European radio excerpts, "A Woman And Some Whisky" and "World Of The Stars" are both fabulous. The former is a smouldering, semi-acoustic (and hilarious) tribute to John Drake (the hero from "Danger Man" cult TV fans) replete with Turkish-style guitar solo, whilst "World Of The Stars" recalls The Auteurs' fascination with the seamier elements of showbiz on their great "New Wave" album. Yet Martin Newell really excels when his imagination extends into piano-led ballad territory, with "Sailing To America". Its yearning, moving and nostalgic without ever becoming mawkish, a trick that the ensuing "When We Were A Thing" pulls off brilliantly as well. The only marginally disappointing aspect of "Radio Autumn Attic" is the rather slight nature of the closing "Beer Elves" and "Prende Mi", though I suspect this latter at least is designed purely as a postscript. Besides, it doesn't end there, as to finish you're regaled by Martin's spoken word extracts from his new book "THIS LITTLE ZIGGY": the most magnificent stories of beer, piss and Glam Rock in East Anglia you're ever likely to encounter. I josh you not. Until the next instalment, then, godspeed you new Essex renaissance man! (8/10) (TIM PEACOCK)
This review appears on the Whisperin & Hollerin website. Many thanks to that good organ.
http://www.whisperinandhollerin.com/positive_newell.htm
June 2002 Q Review.
2002 June's Mojo review of Attic
Many thanks to Danee Bramhall for the clippings.