Martin McAloon

Martin McAloon, bass player with Prefab Sprout, will be playing locally in October, doing Sprout songs. I’m wondering if anyone has been him playing the material and what it’s like. I adore Prefab Sprout and wouldn’t want it to be a pale imitation that spoils my wonderful memories. I just can’t imagine them played without Paddy singing.

Hi Nigel

I understand that Paddy cannot play live due to his hearing issues. Crimson/Red was also a solo effort from Paddy for similar reasons.


Thanks for the heads up Nigel. I can see he is also playing bush hall in London, and being mildly obsessed with their output I might give it a whirl. What’s the worst that can happen? It could be disappointing or alternatively a fun evening.

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You are quite right. I have my tickets and I’ll find out for myself in October. The tickets were selling like hot cakes, with 50% sold already, and they only went on sale yesterday.

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He has so many albums he has written that he has never recorded……sadly i wonder if we will ever hear them.

Out of interest which venue did you book? Sadly I now discover that I am away on holiday for the London gig at bush hall, and I couldn’t find any other dates booked down my way (London or south east).

It’s at The Spring in Havant on Saturday 14 October. It’s a nice venue, good sound and you can take your drinks in. All very civilised. 140 seats.

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I have my tickets for his December gig at The Cluny.
He’s played a few gigs up here in the north east recently and I think people were so ecstatic just to see anyone from Prefab Sprout performing, that he’s booked more dates off the back of it. It’s not Paddy but its something(!) They were the first band I saw live (1985) and were absolutely brilliant.

For those on Twitter, you can follow Martin on @CulpaFeliks and Wendy on @wendyfinnandmax
for updates. I’m hoping Martin will persuade Wendy to join him for the Newcastle gig . . .


I saw somewhere that Wendy Smith was very positive about his recent performances.

On all the albums he never got a singing credit.

This was from a while back

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March, when I booked this, seems a long time ago now. Tonight’s the night and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s sold out, which is always good. I never saw the Sprouts live, so nothing to compare.

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Do let us know how it goes. I am genuinely intrigued.

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Well, it was absolutely great. Martin has a rather similar voice to Paddy, and of course sang on the records. He has a lovely self effacing style and seems genuinely delighted to be playing. He was on stage for about two hours and played nearly 50 songs. Do get to see him if you can. @1GiantLeap is in for a treat. Here is is on stage - Martin that is…

I got to meet him afterwards, he’s very humorous and just seems really, really nice.


Hi @HungryHalibut

That’s just brilliant and what great pictures - thanks for sharing those. I’m so pleased the reports of his gigs are favourable. Prefab Sprout were the first band I saw live (aged 15) and they made a huge impression on me. I wish I’d seen them live when they were touring ‘Jordan: The Comeback’ around 1990.
Very excited at the prospect of seeing him and I’ll return the favour and post some pictures here in December. :+1:

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The first ‘band’ I saw was Elton John and Ray Cooper in April 1979, when I was 18. It’s funny how one’s first concert makes such an impression. Here is another picture; the venue is really small, which meant that the front rows were really close, which I think Martin enjoyed.


By coincidence, Elton John and Ray Cooper were the second ‘band’ I saw live in April 1979 - the first being John Miles earlier that month.

I was lucky enough to see Prefab Sprout live in 1990 on the Jordan: The Comeback tour - simply magical. Did Martin play Prefab Sprout songs?


They were all Sprout songs. Nearly 50 of them.

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That sounds good. It’s a shame that Paddy doesn’t seem up to doing anything, but sadly from what I’ve read he isn’t in the best of health. I love the last album he released under the PS name, Crimson / Red, but that was 10 years ago now.

I know it gets regularly mentioned on the forum, and so you probably have it already, but the acoustic version of Steve McQueen is definitely worth a listen.