Dom Martin performs an intimate and awe-inspiring performance in Bath

Live Review

Dom Martin. Photo by Paula Smith.

By Dion Smith, Journalist, and Paula Smith, Photographer – Rock At Night Bath, UK

Live Review: Dom Martin with guests Demi Marriner and Elles Bailey- Chapel Arts – April 10, 2024 

Dom Martin. Photo by Paula Smith.

So I arrive at the “Chapel Arts” hall in Bath with some excitement as I have never seen Dom Martin live before, and I hear he is an incredibly talented guitar player.  I have seen quite a few live bands at this venue before so I am really looking forward to this show as I know its a great venue with a nice atmosphere. 

I was greeted by Dom’s management who were amazing and was shown to my seat ready for the support artist “Demi Marriner” to come onstage.  Demi was introduced and was greeted by a very nice round of applause by the audience, and after she introduced herself went straight into the country infused “Sins”, the opening track from Demi’s latest album The Things We Didn’t Say.  This is a great track and immediately showcased Demi’s songwriting and vocal capabilities and I must say I was extremely impressed by the stripped back versions of her songs.  This was also followed by other acoustic renditions from her latest album such as “Distorted Desires” and “One Way Conversation” which went down extremely well with the audience.  Demi delivered the songs with a great deal of passion and emotion and they come straight from the heart.  Demi is definitely passionate about her music and songwriting and I could picture her playing the Nashville circuit with her country infused and inspired music. 

Demi Marriner. Photo by Paula Smith.

It’s clear Demi puts a lot of work into her songwriting and works a lot with other artists. Her songs have well crafted vocal lines and melodies and definitely stand up on their own even with just Demi and an acoustic guitar.  I think Demi will be one to watch in the future and she did an incredible job delivering a strong and confidently performed acoustic set.  Well done Demi! 

As the lights dimmed and the crowd’s anticipation grew the stage was set for a great night of blues-infused magic with guitarist Dom Martin.  Hailing from Belfast, Northern Ireland, Martin has been making waves in the blues-rock scene with his soulful vocals and electrifying guitar prowess and has been compared to “Rory Gallagher” and “Gary Moore”,  so I think this will be right up my street.  Martin has also won a string of awards for his guitar playing so this should be a great night of music indeed. 

Dom Martin. Photo by Paula Smith.

Martin wasted no time in launching into his set, kicking things off with an incredible rendition of “The Fall” from 2023’s Buried in the Hail album.  This really is a masterclass in acoustic guitar playing and this song is beautifully complimented by Martin’s haunting vocal lines.  This track has an amazingly intricate guitar part and must have been exceptionally hard to play let alone sing at the same time.  The vocal and guitar lines flow from Martin and literally come straight from the soul. It’s clear to me that he is an incredibly talented musician. 

Then came “Jelly Roll Baker” and “Haunted”, a new song that had a beautifully played instrumental first half which was then accompanied by Martin’s soulful vocal lines.  He has a very distinctive voice especially in the lower register.  Martin’s fingers danced effortlessly across the fretboard, weaving intricate melodies and soulful solos that send shivers down the spine.  His guitar seemed like an extension of himself, each note filled with emotion and raw energy.  In fact Martin’s rhythm work on the guitar is incredible to watch and I could sit and watch him play for hours on end.  His blues infused playing draws influences from a lot of different guitarists in my opinion and I could hear a lot of “Eric Clapton” in his playing too, which was also coupled with the odd venture into more traditional classical guitar lines from time to time. 

Ben Graham,Elles Bailey, Demi Marriner, and Dom Martin. Photo by Paula Smith.

Then came “No Easy Way Out” and the mighty “Belfast Blues”.  His deeply voiced vocal lines add something quite unique to these songs.  I particularly love the long spells of guitar work on these tracks. 

But it wasn’t just Martin’s technical skill that impressed; it was his ability to connect with the audience on a deeper level too. Between songs, he shared stories and anecdotes, inviting the crowd into his world. Whether he was talking about the inspiration behind a particular song or sharing a humorous anecdote from the road, Martin’s warmth and authenticity shone through.  Dom Martin has clearly been through some difficult times and challenges in his life and he channels all of that emotion into his guitar playing. 

Other highlights of the evening also included “Mercy” and  “Here Comes The River”” where Martin’s vocals soar to new heights, and his bass player “Ben Graham” joins him onstage for the rest of the evening.  Then came “Leave Me Alone” and “Dog Eat Dog” where Martin changes guitars and finishes the night with his green resonator guitar.  It’s apparent Martin can play some mean blues slide guitar too.  Both Dom and Ben deliver the music with confidence and indeed are having a great deal of fun together.  They definitely have a connection and musical chemistry onstage.  The audience have become immersed in the music and everyone is having a wonderful time listening to these fantastic and well executed songs. 

As the final notes echoed through the venue and the crowd erupted into applause, it was clear that Dom Martin had delivered a stellar performance. He invites “Elles Bailey” and “Demi Marriner” back onstage and they all finish the night together with “Daylight I will find”.  Martin’s soulful voice and phenomenal guitar work captivating the hearts and minds of this audience, leaving everyone in attendance wanting more.   

This was an educational experience for me and Dom Martin is definitely one of the best blues/rock guitar players around and if you ever have the chance to catch him live in concert, do yourself a favour and don’t miss it.  It’s not only great to hear the amazing guitar work or course, but also some wonderfully crafted and well written songs too. What a great night and an incredible performance and I hope to see Dom Martin back this way very soon!  An awesome night! 




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Dion Smith

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