Martin Jackson is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and all-round multi-instrumentalist, whose music is both intimate and expansive. His lyrics reflect his fascination with the human condition and are beautifully complimented by the raw emotion of his vocals. Martin developed his unique and experimental use of space and harmonics through collaborating with The Cure’s guitarist Porl Thompson when he was recruited at just sixteen as the singer for his band Quietly Torn. He has also worked with Hugo Largo’s lead singer Mimi Goese, co-writing on two songs – Life You Are and Buoy. His most recent recordings are available to listen and download from Bandcamp at https://martinjacksonmusic.bandcamp.com/.
The Nirvana-soaked grunge scene of the 1990’s heavily inspired Martin’s musical pathway as a teenager and he quickly became recognised as an acomplished singer and guitarist in the local music circles of West Cornwall. At just sixteen Martin was recruited by Porl Thompson (guitarist for The Cure) as the singer for his band Quietly Torn, formed when he moved to Zennor in 1997. Quietly Torn was borne out of a solo project from Porl Tompson using new material written after he left The Cure. Martin followed in the footsteps of former Quietly Torn lead singer Mimi Goese (from 1980’s cult American band Hugo Largo). The band line up featured Porl Thompson on guitar, Martin Jackson on vocals and guitar, Tom Rickman on double bass and Nick McLeod on drums and percussion. Although their highly anticipated first album never came to fruit, Porl’s unique and experimental use of space and the harmonics between and the extremes of emotions that were unleashed through the bands songs, all played to influence the direction Martin’s music took from that point onwards.
Martin went on to form the heavy soulful rock band Ethatone with St Just-based electric and double bass player Ben ‘Catman’ Payne (Bogfiller, Death By Skiffle), drummer/percussionist Sam Hill (Sexual Chocolate, Pigshed) and Richard Blackborow (former vocalist, keyboard player and guitarist in the 1980’s/90’s North London indie pop band BOB). Described as ‘West Penwith’s melodic manifestation of the post grunge rock scene’ (BBC Introducing), Ethatone’s layered enigmatic sound was created by the interesting mix of Martin’s haunting and uplifting vocals and building guitar riffs, Richard’s broad textural sweep of keyboards and harmony vocals, Ben’s deep, twisting bass lines and Sam’s dynamic drum grooves. Their eleven track album ‘Keep Your Distance’ was recorded, mixed and produced locally in Penzance and Truro. The CD was mastered by the legendary Jon Astley and released in 2010.
“The band`s passionate songs are filled with an intense musicality that pulls you irresistibly into their alternately dark, determined and beautiful world. The album takes you on an engaging, widescreen musical journey: these are songs that demand your full attention, and that reward the giving generously.” Band Me Up
Martin began a new musical project in early 2012, joining forces with former Quietly Torn drummer Nick McLeod, bass guitarist Mungo Shoddy (Starfucker, Stash Crow) and violinist Paul Adams (Bates Motel, Edens Ashes) to form the band The Ascension Plan. Former Quietly Torn singer Mimi Goese also collaberated with them on the songs Ascending, Life You Are and Buoy, bringing her extrodinary and formidable vocals to the equation. The band’s music has been described as warm and unusual, epic and ethereal, atmospheric and ambitious, creating a mesmerising fabric of sound and cymatic imagery to entrance and uplift the senses.
Their EP All Ways was released at a live gig at the open air Minack Theatre, featuring Mimi Goese, the angelic voices of the 50 Degrees choir, with soundscapes by Axolotl and live projections by local artist Paul Lewin. The gig was recorded and produced as a live album by Richard Blackborow (Magnetic West). Nicholas Pegg – author of the acclaimed Complete David Bowie series of books – was on holiday in the area and attended the concert. He tweeted: “One of the best gigs I’ve ever seen.”
All Ways EP review
‘Their sound could be collocated in a place between Calla, Codeine and Spain, but with modern overtures. Soft electric guitar arpeggios (Martin Jackson), a romantic violin (Paul Adams), sparkling melodies. What is unforgettable for me it’s when it comes the voice of Mimi Goese (Hugo Largo), a melody that can take you far from the pain of the day, to an isle where everything it’s ok, like a siren lost in a shiny sea’ (Nicola Novelli)
Martin’s current solo work can be heard on Bandcamp at https://martinjacksonmusic.bandcamp.com/