Gavin Mart
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Gavin Mart


Band Pop Adult Contemporary


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"CMD music reviews"

His name is Gavin Mart and he lives in Leeds, United Kingdom. His music is thoughtful, serene, gritty and mesmerizing– ladies and gentleman this is one of those diamonds in the rough who once you hear you’ll be hooked. - CMD


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.

Tony Cummings - Cross Rhythms


Gripping, atmospheric, acoustic sounds driven by a bluesy vocal. Politically driven and passionately delivered, he might be compared to the likes of Elliot Smith. - Sandinista Leeds

"Jumbo muisc reviews"

Heartfelt acoustic augmented by a great band, this outfit makes me want to check them out live. Think American Music Club or the more laid back moments of Ellen and the Escapades... - jumborecords

"GAVIN MART & THE SATURDAY VANDALS - Performance Café - 7pm"

GAVIN MART & THE SATURDAY VANDALS - Performance Café - 7pm
I'd made a special effort to get to the Performance Café to get to see Jim Jones whose 'Daylight & Stars' is a stunner. But there at the entrance was a hastily chalked notice. Jim Jones wasn't playing, his place being taken by a new-to-me aggregation from Leeds. So it's tribute to them that long before their set closed I was making plans to meet up with this gutsy-voiced songsmith and his expert accompanists. They made a fascinatingly fresh sound. Gavin Mart calls himself a "protest singer" and I wouldn't argue as he spat out ripostes at he delusions of "Progress" ("What about your lifestyle/Whatever that means/I'm caught up in your ignorance, affluence, reticence/Your fascist regime") though a song about an educationally challenged boy Mart once knew who committed suicide, "Heriwood", is achingly poignant. Gavin's voice is bluesily passionate throughout while the lack of the band's second guitarist here put particularly emphasis on bassist Daniel Norton (a fine muso who used to play with Bodixa) who responded with some stunning solos and percussionist Robert Hall (whose expertise belied the fact that he was a mere 16 years of age!). The towering set closes with an extremely powerful "Patiently" with its searing climax "Does anybody listen?/Does anybody care?/That every time I speak out/It's just like you're not there." Unforgettable stuff.
- Tony Cummings

"Semi Finalist Uk Song Writing contest"

"This is to certify that "PATIENTLY" was a Semi-Finalist in the Adult Contemporary category in the UK Songwriting Contest."

"Gavin Mart"

"How has this Stunning work been overlooked before now?!! expect big things... Ronnie Johnson. "
- Ronnie Johnson


Patiently - Single

Progress - EP
Heriwood- Single
Progress - Single

Respond to this - Single
Message to You - Single

Golden - LP
Golden - Single
Baby Boomer - Single
Every time I see you - Single
Learn how to Fly - Single



What is ironic about the avalanche of interest showered on Gavin Mart and the Saturday Vandals is that it comes after years of dues-paying. Far from being a gauche newcomer, Mart spent years serving a grueling musical apprenticeship as a drummer on the European rock scene.

Having been born in Sheffield, Gavin was brought up in North Wales. "I was given a break playing drums for singer songwriter Derek Bond..." He commented, "It was the happiest time of my life living there, along the coast, and Derek remains a true friend and musical hero." He continued, "In my late teens and early 20’s I toured with several different bands, firstly my first love 'Fractal Edge' a drum and bass type outfit in London, but the main band was called Dare.

They are an established AOR band; the lead singer was Darren Wharton who was Keyboard Player in Thin Lizzy previously. So I got a fantastic break as a drummer with them.

He and Dare taught me how to ‘go on’ in the music business. We supported dozens of major acts across Europe including Shirley Bassey, she was the first woman from Wales to make it in the industry. Dare introduced me to playing on the ‘pro scene’ with a wide variety of people; Killers, Ten, Motorhead, Asia, Barclay James Harvest, Magnum, Thunder, to kind of set the scene…"

Musically, things were in a state of change for Gavin. "I'd moved on [from Dare], I wanted to be a singer rather than a drummer, in my heart of hearts. I knew that there was something different around the corner, and life pulled me to Leeds. I started writing heavily, I was writing about the things around me, about the things I was going through in my own life; somehow I needed to get that out. It needed to be out there, being listened to and being sung by me. It was a natural progression from one thing to another, it was always going to happen, it was just a question of when."

Gavin recorded a single, "Patiently". The songsmith spoke about the song. "It's Ecclesiastical frustration; it's a philosopher's frustration. The song was written about a protest march that happened around 2003 when Britain declared war on Iraq and two million people launched themselves down to London to protest against going to war. My parents went down, my sister went down, a lot of my family went down, and they marched through the streets of London and they said, 'We don't want to do this; we don't believe there are weapons of mass destruction'. I couldn't make it down to London, but what I did do was I went down into my basement in Leeds. I was so frustrated about the march, because I knew nothing was going to come of it, and I sat down and wrote that song in five minutes from start to finish. It's about that march, but the thing is with song writing, once you start to look deep inside. . .

Stints with a couple of fledgling bands around Leeds most notably with 'revive' and in Sheffield with Joe Rose, bore only a frustrated fruit and little progress. The idea of such frustrations led to an EP to which Gavin aptly names 'Progress', six often dark hewn songs, including "Patiently" and a particularly poignant song, "Heriwood", about a young man with learning difficulties with whom Gavin had gone to school and who died a sad and lonely death. Remembered the songwriter, "He had great teachers around him who were giving him good, sound advice but that advice just didn't compute somehow and he made a decision to get out of there. The song is suggesting that there are people who need an extra helping hand and perhaps a different type of education to the one he had, something our educational system often overlooks. I'm trying to defend Heriwood in the song; he was my friend, I don't think he got a hearing in life. He couldn't quite get out of his head what he wanted to say and he killed himself. But he died without a cause and he never said anything to the world apart from in his suicide. I really wanted to write a song which would keep his name in the world somehow. Without that, would anyone speak the name Heriwood again? I wanted to write a song that had such a hook in it that people would sing it over and over and it would be so catchy that it would be about keeping this guy's name alive."

Judging from the popularity of "Heriwood" during Gavin's live performances he has succeeded. Equally powerful is the 'Progress' title track. Explained Gavin, "It's about a man who's trying to find out where he fits in. He's got dreams and ideas and nothing quite seems to happen, nothing seems to land, and he's having a conversation, possibly with God or perhaps just out into the open. He's having a conversation, he's having a rant, and he's having a look back over his young adult years and asking what sorts of things he has bought into. He's got a couple of mortgages, he lives in a society which invests in credit. He's asking, can he exist in that kind of society without having a job?