From: Frances Moran [F_dot_Moran_at_kent_dot_ac_dot_uk]
Sent: 28 March 2008 16:07
Subject: The Martin Harley Band - Gulbenkian

The Martin Harley Band

Grow Your Own

Saturday 12 April 7.45pm

Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury


The Martin Harley Band are an acoustic trio with a big, big sound and have been busy slamming jaws on the floor at venues and festivals in Europe, Australia and the Caribbean. 


Their slide-driven sound, fronted by Acoustic London’s “Solo Performer of the Year 2005”, blends swinging contemporary Americana with heavier acoustic blues-rock and delicate ballads of exceptional beauty. The Martin Harley Band embark on an extensive UK tour in April to promote their new album Grow Your Own.


This 11-track collection of songs takes the listener on a journey of the heart and mind as if sharing the band’s emotions on the road.  From the wistful hobo spirit of One for the Road and the gentle sighing strings on Amelie, through gritty, bluesy urban hip-hop grooves on When I Go and on into the raging acoustic rock of Sail On, this album ably demonstrates the full artistic range of the band’s output to date.


They have featured in Channel 4 and Sky One documentaries and are a favourite of celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, having entertained a River Cottage VIP party in 2006.


“The Martin Harley Band stole the show, they blew everyone away at every performance. Can't wait for them to come back next year". Veronica Little, Marketing Director, Virgin Music Red Eye Festival, Barbados, November 2007


Tickets £12


Booking Office 01227 769075

On line bookings




For images contact Frances Moran, Marketing Manager, F_dot_Moran_at_kent_dot_ac_dot_uk 


The Martin Harley Band are available for interviews & sessions. Radio & TV enquiries to Amanda Beel at All About Promo Tel 020 73284836


Press enquiries to Tim Richardson at Mutiny Music admin_at_mutinymusic_dot_co_dot_uk




Martin Harley is an extraordinary songwriter and guitarist who has a gift for making music that feels as comfortable and right as your favourite pair of shoes, shoes that you can’t help but tap to the beat.  Close your eyes and hear a sound where the soothing gentleness of Jack Johnson is tinged with the simmering urgency of swing; a sound where the soulful vocals of Kelly Joe Phelps may at any moment be stripped away to reveal the driving rock and soaring slide guitar of the John Butler Trio….this is the feeling of the Martin Harley Band and it’s a very addictive feeling indeed!  Word has been spreading and Martin’s infectious songs have been winning new fans of all ages, from all walks of life and generating invitations to play across the globe.  With a new album due out in Spring 2008 and his gig diary filling up rapidly, this trend looks set to continue.


In his early twenties, disenchanted with his UK suburban life, Martin went looking for adventure and music armed with a little money and an acoustic guitar.  His travels took him across the continents, from the United States, to Africa, to India, and eventually he found himself writing music and playing in small bars across Australia whilst living out of a car.  Using a converted 12-string he bought from a junk shop for $30 (and still uses to this day), his warm voice, earnest yet poetic lyrics, and distinctive guitar style turned people’s heads straightaway. 


Upon his return to the UK he set about recording his debut album, “Martin Harley” (2003), enlisting Adam Wolters on two-string stick bass and Pete Swatton on a minimal cock-tail drum kit and balalaika. Three musicians whose combined sound is hugely greater than the sum of their parts.  The Martin Harley Band was born.  In 2006 Adam amicably left for other pursuits and was replaced by Graeme Ross.  Martin’s other passion besides music is surfing, and his music has been enthusiastically carried around the globe by fellow disciples of the wave.


This word of mouth phenomenon continues to open new doors, including the recent Virgin Music Red Eye Festival 2007 in sunny Barbados.  It seems that everywhere that Martin goes people fall in love with his songs, clamour to buy his CDs and urge him to visit again soon.   MHB are also one of the fave bands of TV chef Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall.  The River Cottage entrepreneur asked the band to donate a track to one of his compilation CDs, and then invited the lads down to play a staff and VIP party in 2006.


Martin’s sense of adventure, his love of travelling and his thirst for a deeper understanding of music all cease to diminish and propel him along his journey.  In 2005 he took part in what is now officially the “Highest Gig in the World”, playing at 21,000 feet up in the Himalaya.    In early 2006 he spent 6 weeks wandering though Mali, Guinea and Senegal in the company of some of the finest indigenous musicians of those countries, making music day and night, soaking up the experience and most importantly making friends.  A French sound and film crew were along for the ride too, and the hundreds of hours of footage and audio files are now being distilled patiently into another Martin Harley gem.


2008 sees a busy year for The Martin Harley Band; a solo month-long tour of Australia, regular sorties to France, Germany and Holland, an autumn tour of Scandinavia and 2 extensive UK tours are being booked.  The forthcoming album “Grow Your Own”, under license to Villainous Records, will be released in the UK in April, accompanied by a single.   Mastered by studio guru Bob Katz (Sinead O’Connor), this collection sees Martin and the boys broadening their sound with tasteful use of strings, horns and electric bass on odd occasions.  The feel of the music drifts seamlessly from mournful ballads to jazzy swing to bluesy hip-hop and beyond into full blown acoustic rock.



The astonishing journey of The Martin Harley Band continues to roll on, and it has just changed up a gear.  Perhaps 2008 will be the year when it rolls past your front door……



Frances Moran
Marketing Manager
Gulbenkian Theatre
University of Kent
01227 827956
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