Like many of the members of The Tamla Tigers, Pat Martin showed an early talent for music and it was not long before he was playing rhythm guitar at all the local youth clubs with The Senders. That was back in 1963 when Pat’s playing was strongly influenced by groups such as The Shadows, Johnny Kydd & The Pirates,The Hollies and The Beatles.
In the fast changing ‘60’s, it was not unusual for groups to change their name quite regularly and The Senders were no exception. There was a change to Pink Bears first, then The Late Edition and then The Late.
In just three years, Pat was ready in 1966 to turn professional backing two black soul singers called Lunar Two. That was when the influence of Stax and Motown records really began to affect Pat’s development, an influence that is every bit as strong today.
And it was not just an influence on Pat’s choice of music, but Pat’s choice of musical instrument too: the combination of bass on all those Stax and Motown records and Paul McCartney’s melodic bass style was irresistible and Pat took up the bass guitar. That was when the Motown bassist, James Jameson, began to have a major influence on Pat. It's hardly surprising, as Pat himself says about his musical hero 'just about every good bass guitarist in the world has been influenced by Jameson, whether they realise it or not'. Over the next three years, Pat was gigging all over the UK until through 1969 and 1970 he was part of Billy J.Kramer’s backing band.
That was the year, 1970, when Pat’s band earned its first record deal - with Transatlantic Records. The band’s name was changed to Unicorn and an album and two singles followed.
Pink Floyd Management signed the band in 1973. Unicorn recorded three albums and five singles all produced and played on by David Gilmour.
The following year, in 1974, Unicorn’s Blue Pine Trees album entered the charts in the USA and Pat toured the States for the first time.
More tours followed around Europe and, after a tour in Scandinavia, Pat was appearing live on television too. There were broadcasts from Holland and from the Channel Islands followed by live transmissions on Magpie here in the UK.
Numerous radio sessions followed for such notables as John Peel and Bob Harris. Johnny Walker twice chose Unicorn singles as his ‘Record Of The Week’ and the single Slow Dancing
reached number 2 on Capital Radio’s chart. ( If you’d like to know more about Unicorn, you can find more information on their website at http://www.unicornmusic.net
If you listen to Kate Bush, yes, it was Pat playing bass on Kate’s first recording sessions.
In 1977, Unicorn become The Volunteers with the addition of guitarist songwriter Rob Jacob and drummer Nico McBain (now of Iron Maiden). Later, Pat joined 60’s band Grapevine for a number of years before joining Down To Earth and, latterly, Fiveplay.
Not only does Pat have a distinguished record of musical achievement spanning the best part of four decades, those of you who enjoy today the magnificent performances of The Tamla Tigers have Pat to thank for it was none other than Pat who made the first moves to assemble the wealth of musical talent which today we know as The Tamla Tigers.