Marcus Bonfanti – Gig Reviews

Written By: Brooke

Marcus Bonfanti is a blues artist from North London. He studied music at the William Ellis School in London, which is where he learnt to play the guitar. His parents were very music orientated and encouraged him to play when he was young. His father is Italian and his Mother is English, so he grew up with a wide variety of musical influences.  His parents wanted him to play classical music but he was not really interested in that at all.  When his parents went out he would play along with his guitar whilst listening to likes of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix.  He also taught himself to play slide guitar and found himself drifting more and more towards the Blues genre.

The first time I saw Marcus Bonfanti was at a festival called ‘Blues On The Farm’. When he walked onto the stage, he was dressed in cowboy boots and a cowboy shirt.  He had very long black hair and a big black beard. However, he was only 25 years old, which made him look very eccentric. As soon as the band started playing the tent began to fill up very quickly. People began pushing towards the front of the crowd bursting with anticipation.  He opened with one of his own songs ‘Devil Girl’, which quickly got the crowd going and you could feel the electricity running through the tent. Something I liked straight away about Bonfanti was his deep husky voice. He sang ‘Will Not Play Your Game’ next, and if you closed your eyes and listened, you would think you were listening to someone singing the blues. The voice seemed to belie the person that was stood on the stage.

I saw Marcus Bonfanti for the second time at a gig in Brighton’s Komedia centre. The venue was in a basement which was extremely small, with very low ceilings and no windows.  This had a very bad effect on the acoustics in the room; therefore the sound was not as good as it had been previously. Also it was difficult to fully concentrate on the performance as the stage was next to the bar, which meant that Bonfanti was sometimes being drowned out by shouting or screaming people. Overall the atmosphere was very claustrophobic and uncomfortable. However despite all of this, his performance had all the energy and power that makes him so enjoyable to watch.

The third time I saw Marcus Bonfanti perform was at the Chichester Inn, this was an acoustic set where he was on him own.  I thoroughly enjoyed this gig as I felt like it was much more intimate and he was able to interact with the crowd more.  The atmosphere was a lot more relaxed compared to the festival and the Brighton gig and therefore more enjoyable for people who just want to sit down and appreciate the music. He had also started writing his third album so we had the pleasure of hearing some of his new songs, which are just as good if not even better than his previous songs.  Despite being on his own he was still able to deliver a spine chillingly good performance that Jimmy Page himself would have been proud off.  

Overall Marcus Bonfanti Is a fantastic musician who is worth every penny to go and see live, which is why he has won two awards for being best Blues artist of the year. I would highly recommend him to people who enjoy blues and rock. He delivers every performance to the best of his ability, and does everything he can to make sure that his audience is enjoying themselves. This could be ranging from dedicating a song to someone, to singing happy birthday (blues style) to a person in the crowd.  It is nice to see a young artist do what they enjoy, and not become commercialized.