Review: JEFF MARTIN + CRAYON SMITH Belfast Pavilion 25th November

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It was a bizarrely subdued event last night, with a lot of the potential audience at the second big free night of BelFEST and the rest at the Mark Lanegan gig. I had only heard a couple of songs by Jeff Martin prior to the show and I had no idea who Crayon Smith so I was kind of intrigued by what I heard. Crayon had all his backing tapes on minidisc and unfortunately I didn't think it worked that well. He would be better appreciated with a band to play off, although later in the set things gel a bit better and the glockenspeil song was a nice touch.
Jeff Martin, in case you don't know, is a Dublin based musician whose recent second album 'Spoons' had a lot of input from John McEntire (Tortoise etc). Jeff's own music is gentle, slightly jazzy and he is accompanied by a cellist, a trumpet player and (I think) the drummer from the Redneck Manifesto.
His songs have a hint of another McEntire related act - the Sea and Cake - and although I was expecting something a bit more spiky and difficult, he is actually very easy to listen to. Lots of promise here I think.

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