Mark Pontin is a genuine triple threat. 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. His beautifully nuanced playing, musicianly without over-indulgence, at times wrangles massive sounds from a Marshall amp, at others coaxes 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.
In the short period since the release of their succesful 2013 debut Days Of Destiny, The Mark Pontin Group established themselves firmly on the UK Blues/Rock scene. With rave reviews the album acheived extensive airplay all around the world. Recognition then followed from the network of Blues/Rock DJ's and reviewers who nominated the band in 5 categories at the 2014 British Blues Awards. Finalists in the 'Guitarist', 'Bassist', and 'Album Of The Year' categories, the band reached the final 6 in 'Blues Song' and 'Emerging Artist' categories.
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. On the flourishing UK live circuit, the Swansea based band continue to make an impression, having backed established acts such as Royal Southern Brotherhood and Walter Trout, who was heard to exclaim ' What A Kickin' Band! '. 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, the band bring the genre into the 21st century, with radio friendly tunes, and a huge onstage sound.
Now, with their new album Textures, it is clear that the bar for contemporary blues/rock has been raised and The Mark Pontin Group - Mark Pontin (Guitar/Vocals), Callum Morgan Jones (Bass/Backing Vocals), Dafydd Davies (Drums/Backing Vocals) - is a force to be reckoned with.
All material copyright © Mark Pontin 2018