Gavin Mart & The Saturday Vandals - Progress

Published Wednesday 16th December 2009
Gavin Mart & The Saturday Vandals - Progress
Gavin Mart & The Saturday Vandals - Progress

STYLE: Roots/Acoustic
RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 83482-15835
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

Gavin Mart describes himself as a "protest singer" and his passionate analysis of some of the world's wrongs comes over pretty clearly in this six song debut. Kicking off with a lament for a dead friend who had struggled at school ("Heriwood"), the four piece band launches into a litany of protest with only the occasional glimpse of light shining through the darkness. Not that the Church avoids the songsmith's criticism, the closing line of the last song "Cathedral Lights" contains the powerful line 'All I've got is burns from those Cathedral Lights'. There's no doubting the passion with which the songs are delivered by the gritty-voiced Gavin, while the musical ability of his three collaborators - Daniel Norton (once of Bodixa) on bass, Martin Pearson on guitar and the young Robert Hall on percussion - give a satisfyingly organic accompaniment to the protest singer's occasional bursts of anger and frustration. In "Patiently", the singer asks, 'Does anybody listen? Does anybody care?' but finishes with the line "I'll wait patiently and maybe you will see I'm peaceful". Those looking for simplistic evangelical slogans will find the dark-hewn songs of Mart difficult to swallow. But as the excellent sales of this CD (now on it's second pressing) demonstrate, Gavin's cathartic, gutsy music has clearly struck a chord with modern audiences.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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