I was told the sad news that Martin Trehearn died of a heart attack this morning (04.12.13), and my heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.
Good people are supposed to live forever aren’t they? So why are they taken from us? The ones who always smile? The ones who serve you dodgy pints of Murphys? The ones who stick their necks out for you..?
Martin was responsible for bringing live music nights to The Bistro in Rhyl for ten years between 1989 and the venue’s closure in 1999. That was when I first met him… If I remember correctly, he turned up at my flat on the promenade in Colwyn Bay in 1989, we hit it off immediately, with a love for music and anything that was left of leftfield.
He had come home to roost (so to speak) from running The Splash Point in Rhyl back to The Bistro, which was being run by his older brother Pete. We discussed the need for live music in North Wales as there wasn’t a regular venue in the area, and there seemed to be a revitalised interest in music with the rise of the Stone Roses and the Madchester scene.
With the backing of ‘The Family’ – Martin began promoting live nights at The Bistro, initially on a Thursday, and yes, sometimes he’d opt for those awful pub rock bands from the North West that plagued our coast, but he was also prepared to take a chance and give a lot of local (untried) bands a chance to play. There were many memorable nights there and Martin put on the likes of Cyrff, Anhrefn, 4Q, Pyw Dall, Abs, Wizzards of Twiddley, Adams Family, Scat Opera, Dr Phibes & The House of Wax Equations, Psycho Sexual Sex Terrestrials, Sentient, Blush, Sons of Selina, Junebug, Elephants Home, She Said, Clan Morrigan, Fluff, Blue, Supermania & Mike Peters (returning to the place where he used to work as a barman).
The late 90s saw another lull in people’s interest in live music as the rave/trance scene took a hold and Martin introduced Trancemission nights at the club, converting the ‘top end’ of the Bistro into a separate dancefloor; it worked, for a while…
I’ll always remember him for his sense of humour, and also his apprehension when I would try and railroad him into making a quick decision to do something silly like represent an imaginary band I had started the week before! He actually looked after the interests of Lemon Meringue Gang (what do you mean you’ve never heard of us..!?) when we hit London with 100 dodgy demotapes. He was very supportive of my fanzine Crud, and defended his decision to put on my band 4Q at The Bistro, when the police really forced the issue with him.
Here’s a Gigography of the Bistro Gigs – if you can help fill in any blanks then please do…
Things change and people move on, and I lost touch with Martin, only seeing him occasionally at the gigs being put on at The Breeding Ground and Bar Blu, or at a festival. He kindly lent me all his posters, demo-tapes, begging letters etc involved with the bands he promoted at The Bistro so I could archive them for this website and I repaid him by accidentally knocking his tooth out while he was swigging a pint..!
His toothless grin became a running joke every time we met thereon.
I keep meaning to get that box of demos and posters back to him… I really wish that I still could….