Christina Martin at the John Peel Centre

Making a very welcome return to the John Peel Centre was the delightful Canadian, Christina Martin, this time accompanied by her four piece band.

She kicked off her 90 minute set with the title track of her fourth album, a rocking rendition of “Sleeping with a Stranger.” This immediately drew comparisons with her last visit when she was promoting the then new material but just with her husband Dale.

Her second song of the night was a gentle introduction to the new album. This number entitled “Reaching Out” had a touching and emotional quality as it was dedicated to a departed friend.

More tracks from “Sleeping with a Stranger” were interspersed with the new. “You Don’t Have to Leave Tonight” starts slowly, builds a story and rousing crescendo.

The haunting, “Lines,” saw Christina’s voice supported by minimal accompaniment at times to striking effect. Her voice boasts a tenderness but is blessed with a rawness and emotional depth which rises above any musical backdrop.

The fabulous feel-good anthem “Somewhere With You” proved to be the penultimate offering of the night as it was rounded off with a much longed-for encore, “You Ran From Me.”

“Dale and I agree we should come here more often,”Christina told us.

This was greeted with enthusiastic cheers from the appreciative audience. Anyone who has yet to experience her music is missing out. Hurry back, Christina – we look forward to it!

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