Martin Peirson | History
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Martin Peirson

* Part of ‘Diggory Venn’ – a 6th form school band formed at Longcroft Beverley in the seventies. That group released LP ‘Good Friends’ as a seven-piece outfit in 1977 before disbanding.

* A similar line up resurfaced as ‘Jump the Gun’ – though Martin left before they recorded – preferring solo work.

* Released ‘Into a Song’ in the eighties – a cassette collection of own songs. Side One was recorded at Angel Studios Hull with guest musicians – and side two recorded live solo.

* Became resident singer at The Processed Pea Folk club (in Etton) performing 8 songs a week most self written.

* Was invited to help run the venue – which he did for 25 years – booking the likes of Lindisfarne, Mungo Jerry, The Strawbs, Eliza Carthy, Kathryn Tickell etc.

* Recently stepped down from organising The Processed Pea which freed up time to write, record and perform again.

* Continues to run Cherry Burton Arts with occasional events.

* Performs as ‘The Men of a Certain Age’ with Peter Robinson – backing band for some live shows with Henry Priestman (ex-Christians).

* Often plays with musicians including Steve Peirson, Eliza Carthy and Jim Eldon for the Goathland Plough Stots traditional sword dance team.


Since recently stepping down from organising events at music venue The Processed Pea – Martin has discovered time to pick up his own guitar –and pen again. Some years back he wrote for bands he was involved with (Diggory Venn/Jump the Gun) as well as for his own solo activities. Quite by accident a handful of years ago he found himself playing live at local gigs alongside Henry Priestman (ex Christians) – which rekindled a love of performance – albeit purely ‘as and when’ – and for fun.

With new self written songs in his head- he decided to record them before they got forgotten-which led to a recording project with friend and musical partner Peter Robinson at his Beverley home studio. A taster 3 track single ‘IN YOUR DREAMS’ was released ahead of the full album which came to light in 2017. An accompanying video for the single, plus another ‘LOOKING FOR LONDON’ from Lost Boy Productions can be found on You tube. The single has had local radio airplay including twice-daily airings on Beverley FM when Martin was chosen as Artist of the Week. His collection of self written ‘quirky’ songs cover a range of subjects reflecting the sort of things that go through our minds in order to survive in this busy world we live in.

For live performances Martin is usually solo- but occasionally joined by fellow musician friends to make a ‘scratch band’ that simply enjoy making music together. THE RUNAWAY TRAIN is a loose collective description of singers and musicians that contributed to the ‘Shadows & Candlelight’ album – and can include Peter Robinson, Hugh Whitaker, Dez Allenby, Cathy Allenby , Tony Underwood, Rob Peirson, and singers ‘Well Met’ : Sue Murray, Sue Dyson, Jo Binnington and Alison Hodgson.

As well as his own musical activities, Martin continues to be involved with live shows with Henry Priestman – he and Peter Robinson have become known as The Men of a Certain Age – playing with Les Glover as Henry’s backing band whenever possible.

Martin is also an occasional musician (banjo!) for sword-dance team The Goathland Plough Stots – where standing alongside the likes of Eliza Carthy, Jim Eldon, Steve Peirson and Dez Allenby is a real treat-providing tunes for the dancers at festivals and events. In particular, the traditional ‘day of dance’ that takes place in the North Yorkshire village of Goathland every January has become a regular fixture in his diary. Martin also occasionally does similar for the Flamborough Sword Dance team- where their traditional Boxing Day pub to pub crawl is also a ‘not to be missed’ event.

Other ‘occasional’ collaborations with Dez & Cathy Allenby and Steve Peirson are always enjoyed – and another excuse to play different material.

Diggory Venn



‘Diggory Venn’ started out as a Beverley sixth-form band performing covers but quickly became a duo comprising Martin Peirson (song writer, vocals, guitars) and Peter Robinson (bass) mainly performing  their own material.  They were joined by Robin Peirson for early recording projects at Fairview Studios in 1974 – and for live shows.

The band released a cassette album from those first recordings, titled ‘And then in the Night’, which sold locally. Returning to the studios for further sessions in the next couple of years, they recruited other musicians to broaden the sound – even coaxing Keith Herd onto one track – ‘Tickle Bang & Slap’ – included on the latest Fairview CD collection. Shaun Devitt was asked to provide drums for that session.

The group swelled its ranks – blending with friends from local group ‘Smile’ (Paul Bird and Barry Ross) and adding Sean and guitarist Brian Nelson to form a 7 piece band- performing mostly original material. After releasing an LP ‘Good Friends’ on the Workhorse label in 1977, the group disbanded. The core of the band resurfaced as ‘Jump the Gun’ shortly afterwards.

Martin Peirson and Peter Robinson still collaborate together on recording and occasional live performances.