Jeff Martin & The Armada

This is the first time that Jeff Martin has played with his new band The Armada in Hobart since forming last year. The trio is made up of Jeff Martin on vocals and his countless instruments, Wayne Sheehy on percussion and drums and Jay Cortez on bass guitar as well as various other instruments. After performing the slow trancing song Morocco and the enchanting rock of The Bazaar. It is clear that Martin wants to give Hobart as good a show as he gives anywhere else, announcing that he isn't happy with the sound and looks into getting the problem resolved.


One of the wonders of seeing Martin play live is that you get to witness how passionate he is about performing for his audience. You get the feeling that he doesn't want to let anyone down and that each concert has to be perfect for him and his audience. Once they return there are some more bumps along the way with the mixing and fold back control but he doesn't let this stop him, continuing to give the audience the best that they can hope for under the circumstances. At one point he tells us that when he found out it would cost ten grand to ship all of his countless instruments via plane they all took two days off and took the Spirit instead, ‘We do this because we care'.


The rest of the night focuses on the songs which travel between music styles of blues, Middle East to straight rock. For each song a new instrument is used including various guitars, a hurdy gurdy, a 1916 Gibson guitar harp and a double neck guitar. The combination of Wayne Sheehy on percussion and drums and Jay Cortez on bass and other instruments works perfectly as it all blends together. While Martin played songs from his solo work and from his former band The Tea Party, songs from The Armada dominated the evening. While Martin's solo work was seen as a turn away from The Tea Party, The Armada sees Martin back to his dark enchanting roots.


In between songs Martin stops to talk to the audience in such a way that you feel like his talking to you one on one. He tells about his joy of gaining Australian residency, explains each unusual instrument, his journeys around Egypt and jokes with a reoccurring heckler. After overcoming the various obstacles graciously, the night became an intimate enchanting evening. As The Armada finished up with Baby's Undone the audience is left wondering what the future holds for the trio as Martin's smoky growling voice leaves us with ‘The Armada is here!

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