NOSTALGIA has just got even better.

The vogue for performing old albums in their entirety has been a welcome addition to the rock circuit, at once nostalgic and yet throwing new light on a treasured favourite.

North Easterner Martin Stephenson was the perfect host for such an event last Sunday, being convivial, cheeky, philosophical, opinionated (on Shane McGowan and Ian McCulloch) and full of stories of past and present as he made his way through his 26-year-old debut album of folk, ragtime and blues songs, Boat To Bolivia.

That has always been his way – he likes to bond with all his audience as he will once more at The Fulford Arms in York on June 6 – and the City Varieties music hall spurred him to be at his most loquacious.

He had re-convened The Daintees for a full-length tour for the first time in 20 years, fronting a line-up in his customary battered hat with original Daintee John Steel by his side on guitar and verbal sparring, plus Kate Stephenson on drums and Daintees fan Lou Grant on bass.

Rather than sticking to the album running order, Stephenson left the two most upbeat songs, Running Waters and Look Down, Look Down, to the end, by which time had turned all the lights off for a magical, singalong rendition of Rain.

An extended dub reggae version of Boat To Bolivia led off a handful of joyous Stephenson picks from his back catalogue, climaxing with a beautiful tribute to Kirsty MacColl on Home.

Drawn to the light, rather than the dark, what a generous, gregarious Geordie soul he is.