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Marcus Bonfanti

Blues musician Marcus Bonfanti revisits the Centenary Centre in Peel.

It's been three years since Blues musician Marcus Bonfanti last performed on the Isle of Man, but his recent performance at the Centenary Centre brought many of his fans flocking to Peel in anticipation of another electrifying performance.

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But before he walked on stage members of the audience were treated to a powerful presentation by fellow guitarist Alex Hulme, who packed in a mesmerising set, using an intricate layering of loops.

He's a talented folk/pop singer, writer and loop-maker from the north west of England, who has garnered plaudits from Paul McCartney and Billy Ocean along the way to stardom.

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Initially strumming the guitar at the age of seven, Alex was performing live just six years later. But this was likely no surprise to other members of his family, who all share a strong, musical genetic trait. 

Alex employs many influences in his indie-pop and underground acoustic folk style, blending an almost aggressive performance with the versatile Loop Station and a resourcefulness for writing songs.

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Having won one of only a handful of places to study at Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, out of 6,000 applicants, Alex has attracted a huge fan base, which now includes a few more on the Isle of Man.

His fourth EP, Back of the Pack, is available now.

In contrast, Marcus Bonfanti spent his youth as a trumpet player in a number of brass bands, but at the tender age of sixteen realised that playing the guitar was his destiny after listening to Black Dog by Led Zeppelin.

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Working twelve hours a day so that he could afford his first guitar, Marcus dropped out of a prestigious music college to tour the world for nearly ten years as a session player, before releasing his first album in 2008.

There's been no looking back for the North London boy, who has gone on to experience critical acclaim for all of his albums and continues to tour and record, both as a solo artist and with many of his contemporaries.

Marcus incorporates a style which demands attention, with his powerful performance sending shock waves into the audience, many of whom were already fans of the cheeky, but spirited entertainer.

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Much of his material is drawn for personal experience, coupled with a guitar which almost begged forgiveness as he presented songs from both his current and previous albums, as he drew towards the end of a lengthy UK tour.

His dry wit and candid style suited the audience, who lapped up all that Marcus Bonfanti had to offer, including a much warranted encore and a promise that he would make a return visit to the Isle of Man.

The concert was organised by Mark Armstrong of Talismann Promotions.

www.alexhulmemusic.com
www.marcusbonfanti.com

Valerie Caine
© March 2015