Mark Vennis And A Different Place

Portsmouth based, and inspired Mark Vennis recently released their new album “Unchartered Water, Faded Glory, And Other Stories”.

Opening with Portsdown, detailing the journey through Portsmouth, and I assume leaving Portsmouth, set against the backdrop of the chalk hills, heading towards Southampton. Marks voice has a rawness to it, that offsets the mainly rock backdrop, giving the music an edge, almost an attitude. Possible even a Strummer snarl in places, spitting out Jerusalem, and another journey into Hell.

The music has a laid back feel to the proceedings, perfectly matching the vocals. With a gentle guitar picking away giving a light feel to proceedings, even though the themes seem to be one of leaving, and lost love. Possibly even fighting when you consider Portsmouths’ naval history. “Come Out Fighting” is one obvious example, with it’s a gentle acoustic sound, but harsh theme.

Proceedings taken on a more rock n roll sound with the electric guitar taking control on “This River Is Gonna Carry Me Home”. It is however, with this track that Marks voice seems a little weaker. On the whole the second half of the album feels slightly more laidback affair, with “Out Of The Mist”, and especially with “Waiting For The morning”, showing a more folky/acoustic feel with it’s careful and considered guitar work.

Closing with “A Different Place”, a more intense sounding track, but a fitting end to the album. Picking up from the tracks which proceeded it, and closing the journey mark has started us on with his stories of Portsmouth.

Mark Vennis And A Different Place

Now I have to be honest I was not taken by the album on first listen, but after a couple it really started to grow on me. I can only assume that this might be a problem for some people on their first listen. For others I am sure it won’t be an issue. If you fall into the latter camp, then give it another go, I am glad to have given the album a second chance, it is worth the time. There is a raw honestness to the album which gives it a vibe that captures the ethos of Cash and Clash. The album possesses the theme of traveling, let Mark guide you, as he has crafted some interesting and intimate stories for you to listen to.

Right, I have to go past Portsmouth today, so I know what the family are listening to…

Hard copies are available here.

Track Listing
Portsdown Hill
Unchartered Water
Far Horizon
Faded Glory
Come Out Fighting
Broken Hill
The River Is Going To Carry Me Home
Wrong Turning
Out Of The Mist
Waiting For The Morning
Restless Soul
A Different Place


Words and driving by Jon.

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