Mark Pontin Group
Released Friday 6th November, 2015
(Moochee Records/Plastic Head Distribution)
CD & Download – UPC 634324926656
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Let’s face it, there are a lot of blues-based guitarists on planet Earth today. From young upstarts to grizzled journeymen the minor pentatonic scale has never been more abused. The trouble is, that while many grimacing Stevie-Ray-Claptons can prove to be accomplished on the six silver strings, there is often precious little else on offer.
Mark Pontin is a genuine ‘triple threat’. No, he doesn’t dance or act in the West End tradition but if he were solely a singer the new album from The Mark Pontin Group would stand head and shoulders above the pack on that strength alone. His effortless vocals can turn on a dime from gritty and raw to smooth and melodic, displaying enviable range without the strain and the kind of control and dynamics rarely seen in a blues/rock context.
His abilities as a guitarist easily put him in the upper echelons of blues and rock players, in the UK or anywhere else for that matter. One quick scan through the tracks of Textures, The Mark Pontin Group’s second album, demonstrates this without question. Further exploration reveals beautifully nuanced playing, musicianly without over-indulgence, at times wrangling massive sounds from a Marshall amp, at others coaxing delicate harmonics from an acoustic guitar.
As a songwriter, Mark displays the kind of versatility rarely seen within the often predictably rigid confines of the blues/rock scene and demonstrates how easily – when you know how – the genre can incorporate shades of jazz, funk, soul and pop music. With the roar of Outside Inside, through the breezy harmonies of Change and the brooding intrigue of the album’s first single Three Days, the journey begins. Travelling through darkness and light, joys and fears and waves of emotion, Textures demonstrates Mark’s songwriting to be sophisticated without over-complication, revealing more of itself with each listen and completing a formidable triumvirate of talents.
In the short period since the release of their 2013 debut Days Of Destiny, The Mark Pontin Group established themselves firmly on the UK Blues/Rock scene. With rave reviews the album achieved extensive airplay all around the world, and saw the band break onto the playlists of several major UK radio stations. Multiple award nominations followed as the Swansea-based band found themselves backing acts such as The Royal Southern Brotherhood and Walter Trout (who was heard to exclaim “what a kickin’ band!”) and reaching larger audiences still with several UK festival appearances.
Featuring Alun Walters on bass and Dafydd Davies on drums and Ayesha Pontin on keyboards and vocals, The Mark Pontin Group are never happier than when they are on the live stage utilising not only their remarkable individual talents but also great interplay and improvisation, with no two shows ever being the same. Obvious comparisons could be made to Cream or Hendrix though it could be said that MPGs abilities range further still, incorporating a rich variety of flavours into their own secret formula. Now, with their new album Textures it is clear that the bar for contemporary blues/rock has been raised and The Mark Pontin Group is a force to be reckoned with.
Mark Pontin Group will be on tour throughout the UK in November, see below for details.
All enquiries to Matt Taylor +44 (0)7916 125163 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Outside Inside
- Three Days
- Rising Up Before The Dawn
- In the Middle
- The Sea
- Good Stuff
- Three Wishes Part 1
- Three Wishes Part 2
- Going Home