Marcus Foster hasn’t released an album yet, but the amount of success he has achieved makes this fact almost irrelevant. Best friends with Twilight star Robert Pattinson, one of his songs, Let Me Sign, features in the films, which spiralled him to instant fame. Charles Saatchi once bought one of his sculptures, and he has toured with Mumford and Sons, one of whose members’ record label he is on. With his long-awaited first EP just out and the album expected in June, the crowd in Hoxton was full of wild fans who whooped at his every move.
But does his music live up to the hype? This gig would indicate that it probably does. It encompasses a wide range of styles, the predominant one being rock’n’roll, complete with plenty of headbanging and anguished screaming over heavy guitar and frantic drumrolls. Rushes and Reeds demonstrates some blues influence, while jazz and folk are discernable elsewhere. This intensity was sustained throughout most of the gig, with even songs that started off quietly, such as I Don’t Mind, turning rocky and epic at first opportunity. This was turned to his advantage particularly in Shadows of the City, where the slow and moody start gave way to big beats very powerfully. At one point he broke off into acoustic, and whenever we were allowed to hear them over the intensity of sound, many very beautiful harmonies revealed themselves, such as in Tumble Down, the title track of the EP. Catchy guitar riffs prevent the songs from risking all sounding the same. On its own his voice is uplifting and flexible, sounding as if it belongs to someone much older than 24.
Provided that his album retains the vigour of the live show, into which you could tell he was putting heart and soul, it will definitely be one to watch out for. A first sight of a rising talent; we haven’t heard the last from Marcus Foster.