Daintees set to take out a Boat to Bolivia

MARTIN STEPHENSON ... playing at The Sage Gateshead.
MARTIN STEPHENSON ... playing at The Sage Gateshead.

ONE of the North East’s best-known bands of the 1980s are set to embark on their first tour for 20 years, playing a classic album.

Martin Stephenson with The Daintees have announced a UK tour performing their acclaimed and most celebrated album, Boat To Bolivia, in its entirety, 26 years after its release.

The County Durham singer-songwriter has an impressive reputation for hearty live shows.

This tour follows the success of when Martin and The Daintees performed the album at two sold-out shows at London’s Jazz Café three years ago.

It begins at The Sage Gateshead on Saturday, and tickets, priced £19.50, are still available from 443 4661.

Stephenson’s early love of literature and music led to the formation of the first Daintees line-up in his early teens.

After becoming something of a busking sensation, Newcastle record label Kitchenware signed the band and sent them into the studio.

After two singles, including 1982’s Roll On Summertime, they began work on their debut album.

Boat To Bolivia was released in 1986, and was praised by critics, including the NME, which said it “builds bridges between love and hate, between cradle and grave, between folk and pop, between the past and present”.

Three more albums on the Kitchenware label followed before Stephenson embarked on a solo career with a series of acclaimed releases for Demon Records.

Over the last few years, he has released a series of mail-order only acoustic projects.

He also records and tours with his swing outfit the Toe-Rags and, from time to time, a new line-up of the Daintees.