Topic: Mark Pontin Group
Seeing the Mark Pontin Group for just one hour, such as at Doncaster earlier this year, grabs you, holds you and leaves you wanting more, so a full show such as last nights was an eagerly awaited event. With the new album Textures now out, most of the tracks are now showcased along with the still vital Days of Destiny numbers, including a rare outing for Outcast.
Mark’s not the most demonstrative of guitarists, he doesn’t windmill or run round the stage like his hair was on fire, but the way he makes his Fenders growl and howl, he ignites his audience. And that’s not to infer that he’s a one-trick-pony, he can switch easily from earth-shaking chords to riffs of almost pastoral delicacy, like a one-man Wishbone Ash. This is matched up with one of my favourite young drummers, Dafydd Davies who drives his kit like a team of stampeding horses when the music is cranked up. Striding between these is bassist Alan Walters who work on 4 strings buts some 6 stringers to shame. However, the biggest change since the Doncaster show is the inclusion of Mark’s good lady, Ayesha on keyboards and backing vocals which add a further dimension to the set.
The set builds from a roaring, growling numbers, through a storming Junior Wells (?) cover, all the time building in pace to an almighty cover of Hendrix’ Fire after which we’re allowed to take a breather with the “gentle” Rising before The Dawn. Then, we take off again, with an almost funky instrumental, In The Middle which encourages the band to dive headlong into a jam, giving Alan and Daffydd chance to really shine before a powerful 2-parter song closes the set. Then, they turn round and deliver an encore that blisters what’s left of the paint off the walls.
This is a band that have the tools and the savvy to play any style that takes their fancy, and own it. It’s a real shame that the turn-out at Newcastle didn’t do them the justice they richly deserve, but they turned it into a “private gig” for those of us who did turn out, and made it something special as a reward. If you like your Blues/Rock with a bit more thought, with a bit more texture, this is the band to catch.
Taken from previous night at Edinburgh - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9iIzSmUvgg