The intimacy and charm of Cheltenham Spa’s Slak Bar renders the Calmer* musical evenings special and ever-so-riveting. The place’s ambience and aura were made for the legendary Martin Stephenson whose part-guitarist, part-raconteur act entertained a most fortunate audience of hepcats last evening. The fellow was on fine form. An understated yet compelling Crocodile Cryer proved a fitting climax to the show which mixed old favourites – Rain, Little Red Bottle, Running Water – with tender and persuasive newer stuff all tinged with Stephenson’s trademark bonhomie and stream-of-consciousness musings on life, the universe and Lloyd Cole’s turtle neck sweaters. This is a complex character and I sense the on-stage confidence disguises a few demons but I relish an hour or so in his company every so often and, when joining the calls for ‘More!’ as the witching hour approached, keenly sought another half hour of the fellow’s warmth and aptitude. Nice one, Calmer*. Thank you, Martin.