Gavin Martin RIP : music journalist legend diesWe are sorry to hear of the death of former NME and Daily Mirror music writer Gavin Martin. The vociferous, passionate and brilliant writer started his writing career in Belfast in the punk era with his love of the The Clash and his Alternative Ulster fanzine and that spiky punk edge remained through his journey in the upper echelons of music writing.

Not that he was immersed in punk – he also had a deep love of the classics and eternal battles with other bands he didn’t like but it was all done with a wicked wit and a wildly energetic passion.

About 15 years ago we put on a monthly night in London called Talking Musical Revolutions with guest speakers and interviews – it was unpredictable, beautifully chaotic and always full of the clatter of words and the rivers of music and the wild eyed opinions of those that truly love the form – all captured by Gavin himself.

Gavin knew the worst crime in music was to be boring and his visceral wild energy and his romantic belief in the power of the music and the power of the word made him stand out from the surrounding mundane terrain.

Gavin also made his own music later in life and released some great lyrical tracks and it was always a pleasure to bump into him in London or in recent years in Hastings where he recently moved to and where I saw him just over a week ago.

God bless you Gavin…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. “Gavin knew the worst crime in music was to be boring and his visceral wild energy and his romantic belief in the power of the music and the power of the word made him stand out from the surrounding mundane terrain.”

    Wonderfully said, John, he is a local legend here in Belfast, rest in peace Gavin <3

  2. I spent New Year’s Eve with him just a few years back and went to a couple of his Musical Revolutions spoken word/music performances. What I most remember though was his calling out a man making a rather patronising and sexist comment. His passion and sense of justice in a world of misinformation and deception shone through. So, so sad.

  3. This is extremely sad news. I had the pleasure to work with Gavin on several of his TMR events and valued him as a lovely friend too. He was a force of nature and a wonderfully kind person too. RIEP Gavin, you will be missed x

  4. So sad and what a brillliant writer! I remember going to a Bowie themed Talking Revolutions night in Smithfield a while back – was so great to see top end journalists like Charles Shaar-Murray get up and read their thoughts and reviews on the artist – a great energy throughout the evening & a classic Gavin Martin night. RIP Gavin

  5. I remember catching crabs and swimming in the bloody cold sea in Bangor with you as boys, was really hoping I my daughter and I would have been able to see you next year like I had talked about with you just a month ago.
    You knew you were going to die, I know that feeling but I had hoped you would fight on until perhaps with the world starting to spin again that a gift would come.
    The beach was a good place to close the day.

  6. I ‘produced Gavin’s recent radio shows on and a couple of films for his ‘Talking musical revolutions’ project. I ‘spoke’ to him online the day before he departed, we exchanged pleasantries and puns daily for the last couple of years and his shocking sudden departure has left me in mild shock.

  7. Utterly gutted. He’s left a ‘larger than life’ hole in reality, but some great memories that will always fill me with a little of the joy he’s left behind. What a life, what a guy :) x


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