- Photo by Jason Williamson

With the release of his debut album Land Of CanAan via Bella Union some ten days ago, Marques Toliver finally put a good few people out of their misery.

For nearly two years anyone aware of this ethereal Florida-born talent seems to have been patiently waiting for more music, and a charismatic showcase at the utterly suitable St. Pancras Old Church last night definitely helped explain why.

Toliver had the bustling aisles captivated thanks to his relaxed performance style, twisting vocals and funky rhythms from his accompanying band The Sometimes. If he hadn’t had alluded to it, we would have remained blissfully unaware that this was a “warm-up” to his tour.

He is one of those players that appears entirely at one with his instrument; the classically trained musician uses the violin in such an intelligent way, regularly making it sound more than four-stringed. Backed by a soulful concoction of bass, guitar and drums, it was a versatile and brilliantly genre-defying set, the highlights of which included current single ‘Control’ and a seemingly improvised ‘unplugged’ rendition of his through-line ‘CanAan’.

An impressive evening from a very obvious talent willing to take a direction relatively untrodden of-late – what’s more, Jessie Ware’s a fan.

Stream Marques Toliver’s debut LP Land Of CanAan on The Line of Best Fit now.

Photograph taken Jason Williamson in 2012.