“I guess I became a hunter quite young, I just for some reason became obsessed with it,” explains Marcus Foster of his love for discovering music. A lifelong fan of Tom Waits and John Martyn, Foster’s music belongs to a different time, and his on-stage presence borrows from an age of vocal theatricality and brutally honest performance.
When I caught up with Foster before the show, he described how his sound came about. “A few years ago I thought I wanted to make a kind of folky record, then Mumford came out and this whole folk thing started happening and I guess I naturally kind of found the electric guitar again.”
“I guess the kind of music I like listening to is primarily about the voice. The voice kind of carries everything, whether or not you play different characters… like the sense of someone just feeling it, the ability to tell a story.”
“I like honesty, people that just go for it. Music that just smacks you in the face, I like that.”
And go for it he does. Undeterred by an unfortunately sparse Deaf Institute crowd, and accompanied only by his own guitar, Marcus Foster holds no punches. His confidence is admirable, and certainly refreshing, but his insistence in pushing every song to its emotional limit makes for a slightly confusing experience.
Of his wide-ranging influences, Foster says “It’s dangerous to be so wide sometimes, it can be like you’re just trying to bring too many ingredients to a recipe, I mean ‘we’re just going to make beans on toast, put the pineapple away…’”, but he’s got nothing to worry about. His weather-beaten voice convincingly lends itself to the old Folk, Rock and Blues he channels, and for those of you still rifling through Oxfam for rare Alan Lomax compilations; Marcus Foster is well worth a visit.