Reviews and comments page

A great set from Martin Francis, and a special mention for donating his earnings to Children in Need and The Children's Liver Foundation.
Sue Gaffney – The Castle November 2013

You can say that again -an incredible performance by Martin relished by all
Kath Reade - Skipton folk club 18th March 2013

Had a nice evening at Morley Folk Club in their new home yesterday. The guest was Martin Francis, who writes and performs great songs and who kept the whole room spellbound. The new venue for the club is the United Services Club in Morley, which is also good, spacious, well equipped and comfortable - a proper venue for a growing club putting on concerts for larger audiences. Good luck to them there.

Phil Cockerham - Morley Folk Club 5th March 2013
 

In my mind Martin is one of the Best traditional folk singers I have recorded !! Go see him!

Andy Wells - 3rd Jan 2013
 
Martin has been to the Morley Folk Club on a number of occasions now and on  one of those occasions he did the "Featured Artist" (3+3 slot). The 3+3  slots are  reserved for artists who in our opinion are worthy of a guest appearance. On these nights we look for the ability to provide high quality performance and material with an ability to "work the audience". I'm glad to say that Martin has proven himself to have all of these abilities in abundance and we expect to have him as a guest in early 2013.

Much of Martin's material is self penned, "Oh no not another singer songwriter", I hear you say! Martin writes songs with meaningful lyrics sung to home brewed tunes that are strong and robust in structure that have an easy rhythm and readily lend themselves to harmony.  Inexperienced singer song writers often fall into the trap of repetitively using similar chord structures, rhythms and tempo with the often justified critique that  "All their songs sound the same". None of that with Martins songs, whether it be a love song or a song of social comment, the melodies, rhythm, tempo and mode of his songs are carefully crafted into consistency with the mood and nature of the subject.  The songs are delivered with guitar accompaniment once again sensitively worked into the mood of the song. Martin's delivery is first class and he readily makes himself at home with any audience.

There is no doubt in my mind that in years to come both floor singers and guests will be heard to say "This is a Martin Francis song" and that is the true hallmark of a good singer songwriter.

Keith Brown

Morley Folk Club Organiser         July 2012.

 

"It is meant as a compliment to say this is folk as it used to be. Unadorned yet effective, all he needs are his songs, voice and guitar. He continues the traditions of such notable artists as Martin Carthy or Christy Moore with a similar sense of conviction. We need to nurture such artists, whose songs are rooted in our shared experiences."

 Woven Wheat Whispers

 

"The songs stand on their own and I cannot say I liked one more than another or there were any that I did not like. I realise there is a need for new songs to be coming through, but I have been to see people who have been billed as singer songwriters and come away not being able to remember a song next day. This CD does not fall into that category. I find myself humming the tunes and having a sing with the choruses. Martin has a clear singing voice and has a good guitar style."

Tykes news Spring 2012. Trevor H Charnock

Martin:
"I listened with great pleasure to your song. I've plenty of time for
listening as I'm snowbound in a hotel near the airport in Chicago,
trying to get home from my tour! For what it's worth, Martin, in my
book you're a songwriter. I hope you'll continue to write songs.
There's not much money in this kind of song, as I've learned so well,
but now and then something strikes a chord with people and your
efforts are rewarded. But writing this kind of music has always been its own reward. Keep it up."
Tom Paxton (2008)

Excellent gig at Burnley Folk Club. A strong mix of traditional and original material. Very entertaining - you'll be back!     Alex Nearney    May 2012

"Really enjoyed seeing Martin Francis at the Castle last night - always enjoyed his floor spots at the Topic so great to see a whole night - especially as he did a superb version of one of my favourite songs - James Keelaghan's Cold Missouri Waters. And I won a bottle of Pedigree in the raffle!"     Joe Grint    June 2012

"Martin went down a real treat at the Castle and he showed great stamina, he just kept reeling the songs out. Well done Martin a very entertaining night. Look forward to you coming back to the Castle later in the year"  Muppet   June 2012

"Just back from 'Bare Arts', having heard Martin Francis play. What a good do; big mix of traditional, Irish, and his own self-penned stuff. He just keeps getting better"
5th August 2012   Steve Pitman 

 DOWN IN THE VALLEYS - Martin Francis (Privately-produced, no catalogue number)
"Martin's been around the West Yorkshire scene for quite a number of years, and I think has only relatively returned to performing at folk clubs, but this CD is the first record of his that I've come across, although it exudes proven quality, with not a weak track and plenty of memorable material to latch onto. Martin's characterful, confident singing voice and equally solid guitar work is appealingly old-fashioned in the nicest (and thoroughly comfortable) sense, with a keen sense of melody and rhythm to underpin his original songs. All but one of the disc's fifteen selections are self-penned, and demonstrate Martin's finely-judged grasp of the timeless contemporary-with-more-than-a-dash of tradition folk idiom, on songs that are accessible and guaranteed to make a pleasing impact on audiences of almost any persuasion" (this is the beginning of the review)

Folk Roundabout - David Kidman

"Well respected resident of Skipton Folk Club who has a wide repertioire of contemporary, traditional and self penned sensitive songs"   Skipton Folk Club May 2012