MARTIN LLOYD CHITTY – Antiques (own label)

AntiquesWhen I listened to the first few tracks of Antiques I realised that it was a rather special debut album. Martin Lloyd Chitty is a singer-songwriter from Lancaster – his voice retains the trace of an accent – with a remarkable talent for story-telling. He wrote, produced and performed every note on the album from acoustic guitar to grungy electric and drums.

Martin’s songwriting is reminiscent of the way the young Al Stewart used to build a story from small observations. The opening tracks, ‘Diana Camera’ and ‘You, Me & The Coffee Pot’, are both domestic stories, the first being a not-so-simple love song and the second recounting a trip to Scotland but saying much more. You would think that the third song, ‘Alaska’, would be a more expansive piece and, indeed, it records a day in…the Lake District but it’s the little details that make the song real. I won’t explain the title; that would spoil it.

The centre-piece of the album is the twelve-and-a-half minute ‘Antiques Shop (1923-2017)’. I’m guessing that most of it comes from Martin’s imagination – it’s a bit too melodramatic to be completely true – but it feels real as it tells of the owners of the titular shop and their destinies. The last verse tells how the final owner took a pocket-watch, the property of the shop’s founder, onto Antiques Roadshow – “they said that it was rare but the clip was never aired”. That is so sad that there has to be a grain of truth in it.

From here, Antiques takes a darker turn. ‘The Shadow Never Fades Away’ is a description of depression if I’m any judge and ‘Mere Mistakes’ takes that feel a step further. The record continues its downward spiral until the final track, ‘The Only Perfect Love Song’. Yes, it’s sad and nostalgic but like the first tracks it’s based a seemingly inconsequential moment and slowly takes an upturn of the kind that only music can engender ending in a cry of triumph. I do hope that we’re going to hear much more of Martin in the future.

Dai Jeffries

Artist’s website:

‘The Only Perfect Love Song’ – live:’s very own Paul Johnson, and the team look forward to covering the New Forest Folk Festival again this year with bigger and better coverage.

Paul will be at The New Forest Folk Festival bringing coverage and as many of his audio interviews with the performers as he can grab and Lewis Beech will be face-booking, insta-gramming and Tweeting from the festival all weekend. ~ find out more here ~

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