THE chairman of Shoreham’s Ropetackle Centre of Arts has taken the job home with him to produce an album rich in lyrics and melody and eclectic in its mix of styles.
By day a property litigation specialist with a law firm with offices in Brighton, Gatwick and London, Martin has now turned singer-songwriter with the release of his debut CD, Rational Anthem.
“I started off with the naïve idea that you go into a studio and sing a few songs and somehow it all happens,” Martin admits. “But it was actually quite a tough process. It was a complete education.
“I spent 12 days recording it with (Shoreham-based guitar virtuoso) Richard (Durrant), and there are other musicians on there.
“It’s really extraordinary. I am an old bloke! I am over 60, and I am still fully in harness in my legal career. But the great thing, having got to this stage, is now to do something like this. It’s amazingly exciting. It has certainly helped open up all sorts of avenues for me.
“I have got quite a few more songs to record as and when, but the album is already getting some very positive feedback.
“I suppose I have always had the feeling that this was something that I would try my hand at doing. I have been playing around at home with a bit of music, but it probably started when I did a song about five or six years ago as a gimmick to advertise the Adur Festival. Richard recorded it and it worked quite well. It was just to publicise the festival and it did just that.
“It was a song about the River Adur, but on the back of that I started playing a bit around the local pubs. I decided to turn my hand to a bit of song-writing. It just really flowed from there. About a year to 18 months ago, I was talking to Richard. I have played a couple of times at Richard’s Airport club. He said he was interested in recording some of my songs as an album.
“We then spent quite a bit of time talking through it. I was a bit nervous. It was a fabulous offer, but I was nervous about my songs becoming something that took them away from me, too complicated, too overproduced.”
In the event, they approached the songs one by one, and Martin is delighted with the result: “Richard has got the production expertise and brought in his fabulous playing.”
Rational Anthem is released on the LongMan Records label. More details on www.longman.com and www.martinallen.com.