LiveReview: Marcus Foster

Marcus Foster

The Hotel Cafe, Los Angeles 23rd and 24th March 2012
Night One.

Having never been to LA before much less to the tiny venue of The Hotel Cafe we were surprised at just how many people would stand outside before the doors opened. Now I don’t know if this is a usual thing because there are only about 5 tables, or if this was because these 5 tables needed to be filled with people wanting to be up close and personal with Mr Marcus Foster. I know the reason we were there early to queue, it was indeed the latter.

The first night though we didn’t get close to a table and spent too much money at the bar. The gig  was well worth the wait in the chilly ally beside the venue. A mixture of album tracks, an old EP track and a brand new track from his US tour EP were almost too much for me to take. As I sung my way through every track (bar the new one) I attracted some attention around me. How did I know all the songs?, isn’t he great?, did I come over from the UK just for this? (yes). People there were so friendly (shame that couldn’t be said about the staff that night though. American’s are nuts, they tip people even when they are rude, surly and deliver bad service). Back to Marcus though…. it’s half a music gig and half a comedy act. The man has the voice of an angel and a devilish sense of humour. I’m told I could be heard laughing loud and clear from the back of the room. As for facial expressions, well I’ve never seen anything like it, those high notes start at one corner of the mouth and finish at the other end half way up his face. It’s brilliant. He is obviously a serious songwriter and performer but when things go wrong, as they invariably do, he laughs it off. Mid way through his new track, Solid Ground,  he made a massive boo boo and the crowd all cheered rather than jeered him on. This is the sign of a good front man keeping his crowd happy. There is also lots of howling to be had, passionate crazy howling and people, eventually, had to howl along. I was far to excited to really take it all in the first night. Good job then we had the second one to go too….

Night Two.

We had a plan. Two people we knew got to The Hotel Cafe nice and early, we were going to join them nice and early too. The only problem was that we’d flown 11 hours and there was a huge sun in the sky and a Hollywood sign that required our attention. That, showers, clothes, hair and make up later we arrived to join the queue. Now it is at this point I would like to point out to the not so nice people behind us that yes we had reserved our tickets online (via e-mail, we don’t have zip codes in London) and yes we did pay on the door and no we didn’t need to join a separate queue and let you in first.  Anyhoo… we got a table. We saw the amazing Erin McLaughlin perform (come visit us again we will feature her soon) and then Marcus arrived on stage. Comfy in my seat, strange camera man set up next to me (boy did he pick the wrong person to set up next to, I’m definitely not known for being quiet!) I was ready for my treats. Today we were treated to an extra new track (at least I think so). He made a joke about not fucking it up like the night before and I laughed my arse off at the memory. True to his word he delivered note perfect and I began to feel the creeping of goosebumps up my arm.

It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, for me to get goosebumps when listening to music. I listen to so much, and a lot of it good, but when it gets me, it gets me good. Marcus managed to do this twice for me in two days. New track Solid Ground, played in full, no fuck ups, was just too beautiful, and not only did it give me goosebumps, it made me teary. Perhaps too many lyrics hitting a nerve in that one. I Was Broken also managed to make me turn my head and wipe my eyes. Marcus was in full throttle at these two LA gigs. He was loving it and so were we, the crowd. The atmosphere was so great for both nights. Some people knew quite a few of the songs and even those who didn’t it didn’t stop them for shouting out and clapping and whistling after each track. Marcus said thank you to everyone as he loved it so much it made him feel like he wanted to move there. I don’t blame him. We felt exactly the same, especially if we get to see all our favourite acts play in venues like this. What’s not to like?

A side note.

We got even more drunk the 2nd night and ended up changing our flights home on Sunday. Sunday night saw us rock up at Cafe Du Nord 7 hours drive away in San Fransisco. Here I was treated to a live version of Nameless Path, Marcus declining to roll me one of his liquorish ciggies and well even more drink than I’d had the past two nights. We also got to check out Sam Bradley (review to follow.) All in all…. a wonderful time with wonderful music. Thanks for the ride!

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    Popped Music has been going since Feb 2010.

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