I have been looking forward to this gig for quite sometime , having seen Sandi and Marcus a couple of times before, I was sure I was going to be in for a great night, I wasn't disappointed . Marcus Bonfanti is a musician I have great respect for, I have been championing him for some time on this website and to everyone I meet. Not only an accomplished guitar and harmonica player , he also possesses a singing voice that us mere mortals dream of having. A lot of people pre gig I could here chatting about who this guy was who was supporting Sandi, about halfway through his set they were sure of witnessing a talent. He was playing solo tonight, just the voice, acoustic guitar and harmonica. The set consisted of songs from his latest cd 'What Good Am I To You' plus one from his first cd 'Hard Times' 'God Only Knows' was his opener a short song with vocals/harmonica setting the pace. People I could see were amazed at his voice which was only enhanced when he next played 'Devil Girl' this time with the acoustic. The crowd were enjoying his wittyand sometimes ironic inbetween song banter, plus blatant plugging of his cd's available, and why not they are both excellant pieces of work. The title track from his latest cd was played and for me it was the best song , its a 2 part song that works perfectly for him on stage. The only song from 'Hard Times' cd was ' the very bluesy 'Now I'm Gone' , looking around the crowd I could see smiles beaming all around, it felt good and it sounded wonderful. the only slow song of the set was 'Sweet Louise' a tale according to Marcus, of a headcase of an ex girlfriend who liked to break up his belongings. He ended his too short set with 'Give Me Your Cash' which saw him rasping out the lyrics for the new government we have now. The crowd showed their appreciation at the end of a great performance from Marcus, and I was very proud to have witnessed it.
I heard whisperings in the crowd of how much like Seasick Steve he sounds like, I dont agree at all I think he is more like his unruley offspring.
God Only Knows/Devil Girl/Messin'Round No More/What Good Am I To You?/Now I'm Gone/Sweet Louise/Give Me Your Cash
Sandi Thom and her band came onto the stage to the song 'Belly Of The Blues' a brooding song from her latest and very good 'Merchants & Thieves' cd. We were treated to 8 songs from this cd, all of them very strong, and played extremely well on stage from her excellant band and Sandi's wonderful singing , harmonica as well as acoustic and electric guitar playing. She draws comparison with KT Tunstall but Sandi is a more accessible blues based sound now that works very well indeed. Maggie McCall', 'Heart Of Stone', and 'Show No Concern' from M&T followed in the set keeping up the tempo and the enjoyment level before then first surprise of the night. An inclusion in the set of 'Heartaches Were Nickels' made famous in recent years by Joe Bonamassa and a slower song but played really well and very good listen it was. Next song up is probably Sandi's signature tune 'Punk Rocker' looking around it was great to see people of all ages dancing about and singing along to this song I think has got better since its first airing. Another cover came along in the form of Fleetwood Mac's classic 'Need Your Love So Bad' featuring some good guitar work. 'Gold Dust' probably my favourite song of M&T was up and it was a wonderful moment, played and sang wonderfully by Sandi and her band, lots of nods of approval from the audience during the song and rapturous applause at the end. Final 3 songs of the set showed Sandi's diversity these days. First was a cover of BB King's ' Please Accept My Love' , then the new single 'This Ole World' in which we were treated to an appearance on stage from her boyfriend Joe Bonamassa who is on the cd as well. Great song and was played with great vigour the band and crowd enjoying it in equal amounts. 'Runaway Train' was the set closer , this time Marcus Bonfanti joined the band on stage to play harmonica as they all romped through the song. Cheering and clapping the crowd weren't going to let Sandi off that lightly. She returned with her backing singer Lindsey and they both did a brilliant acapella version of 'Ghost Town', you could hear a pin drop during the song such was the crowds attention held. Last song of the night was a version of Led Zep's classic 'When The Levee Breaks' again Marcus joining the rest of the band on harmonica. A successful night for all concerned at The Borderline which I like as a venue.
Go and see her on tour when you can you won't be disappointed.
Belly Of The Blues/Maggie McCall/Heart Of Stone/Show No Concern/Heartaches Were Nickels/Punk Rocker/What If/Shape I'm In/Need Your Love So Bad/Castles/Gold Dust/Please Accept My Love/This Ole World/Runaway Train/Ghost Town/When The Levee Breaks