“I like the idea of a video that wasn’t a concert, and the lads backstage,” notes a comfortably overstuffed John Martyn from a similarly overstuffed armchair. “That’s Spinal Tap stuff”. Filmed at the turn of the 21st Century in a variety of settings – at home, in concert, in rehearsal – One World… One John is, frankly, a gift. Not only do you get 15 lustrous Martyn performances, but also a number of interview segments which find the still bipedal-twinkling rogue in relaxed, jovial and discursive mood. His personal magnetism is inseparable from the transported, superheated passion that underpins his music, whether it’s the solo renditions of May You Never and Easy Blues or the warm-bath- of-the-senses full band interpretations of Couldn’t Love You More and Lookin’ On, the latter of which sees Martyn essaying a beautifully mushy falsetto.
Kudos to that band, incidentally: godlike players all. Drummer Arran Ahmun generates an immaculately subtle groove – note the segue of She’s A Lover and Solid Air – while bassist John Giblin peels off a quietly incredible fretless solo during You Don’t Know What Love Is.
Tellingly, Martyn’s roadie once accused him of having no respect for human life: Martyn’s rejoinder was: “I’ve got no respect for mine…”