What a glorious start to February it may be cold outside but a warm welcome awaits you in this small pub in the heart of the town, the ale is excellent and the food tasty but on a Sunday afternoon the real attraction is the live music. This afternoon it is Marcus Bonfanti on the second gig of his Acoustic tour promoting his new E.P. and DVD Borrowed Time. We were treated to tracks from this and so much more. The hum and chatter in the packed pub silenced as Marcus picked up his guitar and strummed his first note from the alcove where the walls have pictures of many who have played in the White and Black timber pub before.
Marcus entertained us for over two hours with charm and his witty and sometimes sad anecdotes but it was the music that people lapped up as he won their musical hearts with an impressive set combining something new, old, blue and borrowed.
He opened with God Only Knows, with the intro on the harmonica which he sadly did not pick up again, this was the perfect song for warming up the audience to prepare those who haven’t seen him before to marvel over the dexterity of his fingers as he would strum and pick the guitar shaping the strings to deliver the notes he wanted us to hear on the numbers to come, of course combined with his distinctive warm baritone vocals that articulate the lyrics so that the poetry is not lost as the words become a song. There is real style, energy and passion as Marcus plays to an appreciative audience the music he loves to play as a solo artist he delivers everything in his own style this is an act that delivers and never mimics. Layla from his current EP is a formidable track both lyrically and musically and will no doubt become a signature track when playing solo it has a real listenability quality. This was followed by John Henry Blues this is said to be a true story about a man, John Henry who takes on a machine which is said to be more productive in laying down the iron rails. Well John Henry proved them wrong, sadly he died of exhaustion shortly afterwards. What a story to sing and so suits the man and guitar treatment. We heard Honey a charming ditty from a previous recording, up tempo positive and certainly blasted the cobwebs away as his voice delivered the chorus full throttle. No gig from Marcus is complete without Cheap Whiskey all too soon the set list was completed man and guitar had delivered some amazing riffs and licks and had shown how a story can be developed and strengthened through the power of music. Luckily for us this was not the end as joining Marcus for the encore was a member of the audience Trevor Steger from Babajack who joined in playing harp for a couple of rousing numbers now we saw the pair of them in their element a hot and steamy pub and warm audience and the chance to jam wow this was a fun, impromptu treat on a Sunday afternoon, gospel and the blues what amazing harmonisation as they shared with us their version today of Run Long. Then it really was the final track from his new album Marcus delivered on his own Don’t Make Me Miss You, another lyric driven piece of music leaving the audience wanting more and so happy with what they heard. It really was a perfect winter’s Sunday afternoon.
Marcus is on tour throughout February click for TOUR DATES