Veteran folk singer Martin Stephenson blasts X-Factor for ‘farming people into fame’ ahead of Manchester show

Veteran folk singer-songwriter Martin Stephenson has hit out at X-Factor-like shows for ‘farming people into fame’, as he prepares to return to Manchester for an upcoming gig.

Stephenson, who has been on the circuit for more than 30 years, is set to play at St Clements Church on April 5.

As he started on the circuit at a young age Stephenson has played at hundreds of venues, big and small, across the country.

Stephenson has never been afraid to offer a helping hand to up-coming musicians and the Newcastle front0man spends a lot of his time lending advice to those who need it.

He said: “I do a lot of work with young artists, I love to make music and I often offer my help for free to upcoming artists and just help them to make really great music.

“A lot of artists in the charts today are manufactured which is a real shame because there are still a lot of people that love making music for the music.

“Children are the future and it is a shame that things like The Voice and the X-Factor are farming people into fame.”

Stephenson has always had a passion for music which he discovered at an early age in a very peculiar way.

“My passion from music probably stems back 1972 when I was a young kid living in a council house,” he added.

“I went to a youth club where I started to play ping-pong and there was a coach at this club that used to play brilliant music really loud while we played – and that’s when I started to really get a passion for music.

“We used to listen to all sorts of great music like Santana and Hendrix.”

Since then Stephenson has gone on to record more than 40 albums and has also helped launch the careers of iconic bands such as New Order.

“I used to play at Factory in the 80s and I remember playing in front of one red haired man which turned out to be Mick Hucknall.

“One of my favourite Manchester venues used to be Boardwalk which used to always be full.

“In my late 20s I was already a veteran and so I veered off the treaded path. One of my favourite venues to play at was Blue Cat in Stockport.”

The Geordie artist returns to Manchester full of love for a city he says played a major part in his long and successful career.

He told MM: “The people of Manchester are incredible, the city as a whole has influenced the entire country.

“There is such a rich music heritage in the city and there are so many different types of cultures within it. It is no surprise that it has inspired so many brilliant musicians and great bands.” 

Martin Stephenson will be playing at St Clements Church on April 5. For more information, click here.

Image courtesy of echofilms, via YouTube, with thanks.

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