I fondly remember the era when Blues...more explicitly British Blues... was the central pivot on which all underground music swung. Names like Taste, Rory Gallagher, John Mayall, Peter Green & Fleetwood Mac, Ten Years After and Savoy Brown were on our tongues daily and this led us to explore their American progenitors and the scene developed into the Prog. Rock scene the height of which sadly did not last long before descending into the cesspool of pretentious navel gazing noodling boredom that spawned Punk.
Anyway these times were exciting and rapidly changing. Occasionally an attractive new Blues artist comes along and takes us back to those halcyon days in our ageing heads. I think this has happened to me in the last couple of weeks. I first saw Marcus Bonfanti at The Boogie Woogie Troop's gig @ The Brunswick in Hove last week and when I heard roles were to be reversed and The Toop were to appear as support to Marcus's band @ Brighton's Komedia this last Wednesday 30th May 2012.
Sadly I thought I wouldn't be able to afford another outing in May but then I got the chance of a guest list entry, so I jumped at it along I went!
The Boogie Woogie Troop were back to their basic format of The Amazing Matt Gest on Keys/electric piano andf Lead Vocals, The Ubiquitous Jim Mortimore on bass and The Muel Himself Mr Samuel Walker on Drums and Backing Voices. in a pretty short set they showcased their expansive spectrum of jazz, big band and rock'n'roll repertoire and think newcomers in the pleasing packed house were given something to ponder and inwardly digest.
Then Marcus Bonfanti swung onto the stage and amazed all with his fine guitar styling and exercised his lungs to show off his authentic Blues voice and very original songwriting ability. He is brilliantly supported by drums and bass. He plays a mix of traditional and self-composed tunes and each one displays a further amazing talent, be it his gravelly vocals, his very fine slide and bottleneck skills or the humour that permeates his songwriting. The show ended with Matt Gest back on stage with the band and these two great talents were able to bounce off each other producing a rare and fine exhibition of virtuoso playing at its best.
The other thing I need to mention about theis gig is that the sound quality was the best I've heard anywhere in years and years. hether that was down to the Komedia's own system, the particular engineer that evening or something Marcus's band brought along with them or a happy mixture of all of these I don't know. Whichever of these it was I'd like to thank all concerned for putting on such a great night out.