Peel Legends: Caroline Martin
Have written now about most of the Peel legends contributing exclusive tracks to my October two-part specials on Dandelion Radio, I find myself wondering why I’ve not written anything about the track Caroline Martin submitted. Then I sat down to write this, and I realised why. Because Caroline’s one of those artists whose touch is so light, whose appeal is so subtle and whose songs creep up on you in the night like an experience as perfect as a dream, but with the power of a nightmare. The phrase ‘indescribable beauty’ in this context just wouldn’t do, because such a trite description doesn’t get anywhere near the force in Caroline’s music.
Caroline recorded three Peel sessions between the years of 1999 and 2003. Her track ‘The Singer’ appeared in that first session and later appeared on record and in the final Peel festive fifty of 2004 at number three, thus holding the distinction of being the ‘oldest’ track to appear in one of the yearly festive fifties (as opposed, of course to the ‘all time’ ones).
Perhaps this fact speaks volumes of the timelessness of Caroline Martin’s songs. In any just world, her music would be spoken of in the same hushed tones currently reserved for Nick Drake. It’s only to be hoped that Caroline’s true contribution is recognised in a more timely manner than was Nick’s.
I know Caroline was making a CD of her Peel sessions available at gigs. I don’t know whether this is still the case, but there are many reasons, anyway, for going to see her live. She plays two Bristol gigs before jetting off to Germany for a full tour in December. If you’re anywhere in the vicinity I’d advise you to take the opportunity to see her now or regret missing out later (dates below)
And of course, you’ll want to hear her exclusive track in part two of my Dandelion Peel legends special, which will continue to stream at various times throughout the month at www.dandelionradio.com. For more information on this remarkable artist, go to www.carolinemartin.net and www.myspace.com/carolinemartinsmalldog.
7 November – Island Records Night, The Folkhouse, Bristol
11 December – Warm-up gig, The Folkhouse, Bristol
Starts at Wildehausen on 14 December. Check Caroline’s myspace for dates and venues.