Gig: Mamas Gun plus Marcus Bonfanti – Eric’s, Liverpool – 13 Nov 2011
Posted on: Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011
Sunday 13th November
Eric’s, Mathew Street, Liverpool
Named after Erykah Badu album Mamas Gun are a five-piece soul funk band based in London and released their debut album ‘Routes To Riches’ in 2009. They have promoted, toured and released material from this album in over 9 countries achieving considerable exposure and support. In late 2009 the band became an overnight success in Japan where they became the most played international artist in Japan.
The band was formed by Andy Platts, the lead singer/composer/producer in 2007 and was joined by bassist ‘Professor’ Rex Horan, keyboardist Dave ‘Eighties’ Burnell, Terry ‘Spiller’ Lewis and drummer ‘Union’ Jack Pollitt after scanning the internet for inspiring and talented musicians.
Andy Platts was born in a military hospital in Kowloon, Hong Kong, to a nomadic father who had landed in the Far East as a police recruit in their battles with underground triad organisations, Platts soaked up the musical ether that surrounded him (which included the Beatles, the Doors and ELO from his father, and a Filipino mother who played Spanish-influenced guitar), attending countless schools in the process before winning a place at Liverpool’s LIPA institute. Subsequently, Platts played on Corinne Bailey Rae’s hugely successful debut album and then, in 2006, landed his own publishing deal with Zomba Music. This led to collaborations with an extraordinary song-writing A-list that included Rod ‘Thriller’ Temperton, John Oates, Jed Leiber (son of hit-making legend Jerry) and former Gil Scott-Heron collaborator Brian Jackson
Support comes from fellow LIPA student Marcus Bonfanti. His second album – ‘What Good Am I To You’ – is full of the highs and lows we all know, referencing a cool range of influences from Tony Joe White, through Tom Waits to Led Zeppelin. But ultimately it’s his own style – this is the sound of the North London blues.
‘What Good Am I To You’ was listed in Classic Rock Magazine’s top 50 albums of 2010 and the single “Give Me Your Cash” was included in their top 40 songs of 2010. Bonfanti and his 3 piece band have been playing shows up and down the country to promote the album, his follow up to the acclaimed 2008 debut “Hard Times”.
Fast building a reputation as one of the most exciting acts on the UK live circuit with a fierce show, he’s earned 2 nominations in the 2011 British Blues Awards (Best Male Vocals & Best Guitarist) to go with his 2 nominations last year (Best Album & Best Male Vocals). Following a triumphant return to Glastonbury this year, a full UK tour is scheduled for the Autumn, to coincide with a new album.
The 29-year-old was born and raised in a tiny flat in North London to an English mother and a ‘dangerously Italian’ father. He picked up the guitar for the first time at the age of 16 after hearing Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” and has already packed in plenty, having worked as a sideman for artists such as PP Arnold, Joe Lewis Walker, Earl Thomas, and Findlay Brown. He’s also opened for Chuck Berry, Robert Cray, John Mayall, Paul Jones, JJ Grey, Philip Sayce, Sonny Landreth, Walter Trout, Ian Siegal, Beth Rowley, Martin Harley & Jeff Lang.
However, following acclaimed appearances at 2010’s South-by-South West, Glastonbury, Secret Garden, Hop Farm, Maryport, Downpatrick and Carlisle festivals, and something approaching 200 live shows in the past year, it’s as the main man that Bonfanti’s reputation as an extraordinary live performer is growing.
If ‘Hard Times,’ set the scene and sent some subtly effective messages about a new British voice demanding to be heard, ‘What Good Am I To You’ makes good on all those promises.
“Bonfanti deserves to become the next British Blues Guitar Hero” The Guardian
“With a voice like sand & glue, a punchy guitar technique & stockpile or careworn tales, his appeal becomes unisex. Highlights are plentiful” Classic Rock – Blues album of the month
“Varied & confident album. This outing proves Bonfanti has the potential to take the blues somewhere intriguing”. Guitarist Magazine