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Martin Colyer

Martin Colyer

RBP co-founder Colyer is a freelance designer in London, currently residing at He has worked in magazines from hot metal to PDF/X-4 for, among others, The Listener, The Observer and Reader’s Digest, as well as helping launch the architecture magazine Blueprint. He still receives royalty cheques from PRS (mostly in the region of £4.73) for his songwriting in Britsoul group Hot!House (see Mark Pringle, elsewhere). He is the author of a book, Commissioning Illustration, and writes on that subject for magazines such as Varoom! and Eye. In 2012 he won a Parliamentary Jazz Award for his work on Goin' Home: The Uncompromising Life & Music of Ken Colyer, a large-scale biography of his uncle. His offbeat take on music in everyday life is at He likes reverb, outré scents, Bob Dylan's boots and the writing of Joan Didion.

Five Things I've Seen and Heard

Martin Colyer on the RBP podcast

18 articles

List of articles in the library

By date | By artist | Most recently added

The Band: Rock’n’Roll Academy: Revisiting The Band’s Rock of Ages

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, 18 January 2001

TWO OF MY favourite live albums were recorded at either end of 1971. In February Taj Mahal added a horn section of four Tuba players ...

Leonard Cohen: Field Commander Cohen: Tour of 1979 (Columbia)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, 3 March 2001

COMING OFF the extraordinary experience of making Death of a Ladies Man in 1977 with Phil Spector (being locked up in the studio, having a ...

Robbie Fulks: Country Music is Not Pretty: A User’s Guide to Robbie Fulks

Review and Interview by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, 24 March 2001

Prologue Anyway, before long the room has filled with people, and I grab my beloved Martin 00028 and take the stage. The show is one of ...

All Access: Front Row. Backstage. LIVE!

Film/DVD/TV Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, July 2001

"ROCK 'N' ROLL! PHEW!" It’s tempting to speculate what Jeff Bridges would say when faced with a B.B. King the size of a house, ...

Hot House: Headin' South: Muscle Shoals '87

Memoir by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, July 2001

Martin Colyer was a member of Hot House, the Brit deep-soul trio who ventured down to Muscle Shoals in 1987 to cut their first album ...

Bob Dylan: Love And Theft (Columbia/Sony)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, September 2001

BOB DYLAN turned up unannounced at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto in 1972, looking for Leon Redbone. Redbone was a singer and guitarist who ...

Lucinda Williams: Essence (Lost Highway)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, December 2001

HOW D'YOU follow up a Grammy-winning, plaudit-garnering album that took three years and as many producers to make? Well, you go to Minneapolis and get ...

John Medeski, North Mississippi Allstars: John Medeski, The North Mississippi Allstars, Robert Randolph: The Word (ropeadope/Rykodisc)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, February 2002

IF YOU DIG the pulsating sound of a fully revved-up Hammond B3, the headlong rush of a low-down bar-band playing the blues and the close-to-heaven ...

Various Artists: Good Rockin' Tonight - The Legacy of Sun Records (Sire)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, February 2002

ANOTHER WEEK, another tribute album, but this one is pretty successful. Beautifully packaged, with only one obvious clunker (Johnny Halliday's 'Blue Suede Shoes'? He don't ...

Aretha Franklin: The Queen's Greatest Tracks

Review by Martin Colyer, Barney Hoskyns, Mark Pringle, Rock's Backpages, May 2002

"THEY USED to call me a jazz singer," Aretha told Val Wilmer in 1968. "Now I think what I sing is closer to R&B and ...

Manuel Galbán, Ry Cooder: Ry Cooder and Manuel Galbán: Mambo Sinuendo (Nonesuch/Perro Verde)

Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, February 2003

THE WHOLE BUENA Vista Social Club never really pushed my buttons – I liked the film well enough but always drifted off when listening to ...

Lucinda Williams: Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Live Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, May 2003

I LAST SAW Lucinda Williams live about ten years ago when she supported Mary Chapin Carpenter in London – not an auspicious show. She seemed ...

Bob Dylan: Why I Love Bob Dylan

Comment by Martin Colyer, The Guardian, 25 November 2003

LAST SATURDAY IT was forty years ago that JFK was assassinated. Yet by November 1963, Bob Dylan had already been performing in Greenwich Village for ...

The Band, Garth Hudson: Garth and Maud Hudson playing 'Blind Willie McTell': 100 Club, London, September 26

Live Review by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, October 2007

SO THE CROWD parts to let Garth Hudson wheel his wife Maud to the stage, and Maud's dressed for a Woodstock winter, hat, scarves and ...

Aimee Mann: Cover Me – Aimee, Gail and the illustrators

Special Feature by Martin Colyer, Varoom!, Winter 2009

Video promos and downloads have diminished the value of sleeve art in the eyes of music companies, and illustration doesn't fit their brand-building approach to ...

Aimee Mann: The Discreet Charm of Aimee Mann: An Interview

Interview by Martin Colyer, Rock's Backpages, September 2012

A freewheeling chat, taking in Mann's new Charmer, her talented collaborators, reality TV, turning up the treble, Laura Linney's focus, Jack Kerouac's drying-out and women's ...

Billy Bragg, Ken Colyer: Billy Bragg Comes to Tea

Memoir by Martin Colyer, Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week, 19 May 2017

IN THE LATE summer of last year, I received an email out of the blue from Billy Bragg. ...

Crosby Stills and Nash, Rick Danko, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Sinead O'Connor, Lou Reed: Dispatches from the Everyday World of Music: An Assortment

Book Excerpt by Martin Colyer, 'Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week', July 2018

Excerpts from RBP co-founder Colyer's new book Five Things I Saw & Heard This Week, published this week with an introduction by Richard Williams ...

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