Martyn Joseph is a performer like no other: Shades of Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews there may be - but he stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives delivering his "songs of lyrical intelligence" according to BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris.

June 10, 2000 2:31 pm

Victoria, Vancouver Island

Arrived here on Vancouver Island on Friday. Was strange to fly into a place and not be met by anyone! Took a cab to the house that has kindly been lent to me by John and Jane Cowell who are away in Europe, they have also given me the use of their car. Even stranger to walk into a house with know one in it and it took a while to focus and realise I had to look after myself, which musicians are not very good at doing

The next day, armed with my newly acquired road map of Vancouver Island I set out for Courtney and the Comox Music festival. When downtown in Victoria the night before I asked a few people how long they thought it would take to get to Courtney and was told around 4-5 hours. For this reason I got up fairly early (for me anyway) but the journey only took two and three quarter hours, guess they drive a little slower here. It’s a beautiful drive though and, if I hadn’t been so concerned about getting to the festival for my first gig at 1 o’clock, I would have stopped on a number of occasions to take in the amazing views. Maybe that’s why they said it should take 5 hours!

The gig’s go well at the festival. I get to play on all the stages ( the picture is my view behind my microphone on the mainstage, they are waiving because I asked them to) which is great and gives me the chance to play to most of the several thousand punters gathered there. On the Sunday I’m part of a line up called ‘Kettle of Fish’ whereby a number of artists get up and jam along to each others songs. CD’s are exchanged and the promise to keep in touch given, it’s kind of nice actually to meet all these great players and feel a kinship with them. I always say to them ‘if your ever in Wales etc’ which none of them probably will be, but you never know. It makes me realise that there is so much good music that we in the UK never get to here, as we get our radio doses of Britney, Whitney and the like. I love the radio stations here too, much more variety.

I drive home late Sunday afternoon, this time stopping for the views. I take a little detour to a lake in a forest and sit a while. There’s a guy fishing from a dingy in the middle of this mirror like lake and I almost feel like I have intruded on his world. Back to my Victoria residency then and prepare to catch a flight to Phoenix tomorrow. I have five days before the Vancouver Folk Festival so I’m going to follow the little white ball in the desert for a few days with big Mike and UK friend Simon Curle. Will keep you informed of my position on the leader board.

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