Andrew has had the pleasure
of supporting the following artists:
Mumford & Sons * Martin Simpson * Hard Fi * Terry Reid * The Zombies * Mc Fly * Stephen Fretwell * Kate Walsh * Narina Pallot * Natalie Imbruglia * Sons of Adrian and Noel * Lauren Pritchard * Cara Dillon * Jon Allen * John Bramwell (I am Kloot) * YOAV * Beth Rowley * The Bluetones * Gold Heart Assembly * Mark Morris * David Ford * Nik Kershaw * Sam Beaton * Chris Helm (ex Seahorses) * Ben Ottowell (Gomez) * Amy McDonald * Polly Paulsma * John Power (ex Cast) * Priscilla Ahn * MERZ * Gemma Hayes * Tom Hingley (inspiral carpets) * Passanger * Sam Isaac * David Jordan * Emily Barker * The wonder stuff * Karima Francis * Emmy The Great * Terry Reid *
and many more
I was going to glide into this review quite sweetly, but instead I’m going to dive in head first and tell you that the very first track ‘Memory Maze’ makes me feel a little like this. CLICK The quick tempo of the video, combined with Andrew’s soft vocals equals elegance and sincerity. Much like a sunny daydream, Andrew Foster will wrap you up in your own little world in an instant. Hands can wave in your face and you’ll just stare through them in a musical bubble.
After reviewing Andrew’s ‘Panic Moon’ (find it here) it is safe to say that fairy tale feel is present once again in this fantastic four track EP.
From the wonder that is ‘Memory Maze’ to my personal favourite ‘Eyes To The Sky’, Foster’s latest sensation will make you want to float away for a little while. Just shut your eyes and ignore the world. As time ticks by you’ll simply melt in his soft melodies.
Find his EP right here, oh and his website here, oh and his Facebook, Twitter and Spotifybabyyyy!
So, off I went to the New Theatre Royal to watch a rather talented local fella named Andrew Foster and his Watchmen perform on the big stage.Kicking things off with an excellent debut performance were Calico Ghost, before the brilliant Kassassin Street, who whipped the crowd into a frenzy ready for the arrival of Mr Foster.
With Neil Armstrong’s famous Apollo 11 transmission playing, Andrew Foster and the Watchmen took to the stage to a chorus a cheers and whistles and wasted no time in jumping into their cracking set, filling the auditorium with a blend of indie rock laced with a handful of folk and a pinch of psychedelica.
Tracks such as Amy Watches The Stars, Panic Moon and one of my personal favourites Zombie Dance went down a treat as the watching crowd danced along – in their seats, anyway.
Andrew Foster and his Watchmen are a fantastic band, their beautifully-crafted songs and obvious performing ability make them a joy.
To see them performing against the beautiful backdrop of the New Theatre Royal was just an added bonus.
The crowd wasted no time in showing their appreciation, filling the Cellars with rapturous applause. Panic Moon is an outstanding album, and i can't think of a better way to spend my Saturday night.
If all music takes us places, then Andrew Fosters music takes us on a walk; a walk through Hyde Park, during twilight, as the world starts to feel a little spookier than it really is but thats okay, because the spookiness of the world is nothing when compared to the weirdness of the human heart.
Panic Moon is a slice of acoustic wonderment. It is enchanting to adults as fairy tales are to children; theres just something ineffable about it, just beyond grasp or capacity to describe properly (which is a pain in the arse to a reviewer). Part of it is Andrews observation of human emotion and response; it is frank and honest, but that in itself is enough to make the listener shiver.
Take, for example, Dark Astronaut. The chord progression of the song is beautiful, suiting the slightly ethereal nature of the title while framing the heartfelt lyrics of a quiet, if deeply connecting, love. Then theres The Stone Tape Theory, a song which is filled with sharp-angled shadows and sudden movement in the peripheral vision. Its obvious that Andrew Foster isnt just a singer hes a songwriter. He crafts stories and landscapes, and he ushers us into them while the fog curls around our ankles and the moonlight shines down on us.
If you have ever heard a Fleet Foxes or Mumford & Sons song and quite enjoyed it, Im almost convinced that Andrew Foster will fill a very special place in your heart with Panic Moon.
Surely one of the most prolific and consistent singer-songwriters around at the moment is Portsmouths Andrew Foster? Not only is he consistently brilliant but he is always looking for to move forward.
His latest album Panic Moon is a bigger sounding and an all round more ambitious album than last years The Garden, which was a superb album in its own rustic, organic way.
Foster says himself that Panic Moon is influenced readily by 60s psychedelic pop and Hunky Dory, with his backing band The Watchmen (essentially made up of the fantastic Loz Bridge & The Box Social) playing a more active and apparent part throughout, as opposed to Fosters previously more acoustic based output.
Fundamentally however this is still very much an Andrew Foster album. The melodies are intact which benefit from Fosters assured vocal style. Fosters work always has a real Englishness to it and Panic Moon is no different.
Opening tracks Kaleidoscope and Amy Watches The Stars get things off to a dreamy, accomplished start with the melodies shining through in HD.
Dark Astronaut was the first track that I heard from the album and instantly intrigued me as to the more ambitious sound that was on offer. It is amongst the most atmospheric things that Foster has done, again it benefits from the band playing a more active role, not in a smart-arse, over-indulgent way. No, the Watchmen help these songs realise their potential in a solid way and it works throughout the album.
Zombie Dance boasts possibly the sleaziest blues riff that youll hear this year and again shows another different side to Fosters songwriting. The albums title track Panic Moon follows and is edgy enough to build up along at a pace that is enough to keep the listeners attention and intrigue throughout.
The gorgeous Girls follows. This reverts to a starker, more acoustic arrangement with Fosters fascinating lyrics coming to the fore. Halloween single Stone Tape Theory is as atmospheric and as creepy a track as youll hear before descending into its Queens Of The Stone Age-meets-Go Let It Out by Oasis climax.
Panic Moon once again shows Andrew Foster to be a genuine talent. Never less than engaging, this is another step forward. Panic Moon is sure to find itself in many Album Of The Year lists when December comes.
UNPLUG THE JUKEBOX
Andrew Foster is back with his "Tim Burton inspired" record which sees a unique take on acoustic strings.
First up is 'Evil Tree' which has an ominous feel. The banjo adds a strangely eerie feel to the track with an overwhelming sense of a sinister presence. This song gradually creeps up on you leaving a satisfying feeling.
'The Garden' begins with an empty church bell before setting off around the globe to capture to exotic sounds of a snake charmer. The composition and the vocal hint at Korn, My Ruin and even at a few alternative eighties bands.
The introduction to 'Old Traditions, New Fabrications' really sets the scene with a Frankenstein-esque production. A laboratory full of bubbling test tubes and electric sparks add to the atmosphere and heighten your senses for what's to come which is a crazed carnival experience.
Andrew Foster's sound is a Gothic soundtrack with Hammer-influenced sound effects, an excellent record with distorted genius baked-in.
Media Ghost is a quirky, clunky, yet winning collection of off-kilter pop songs from Portsmouth-based Andrew Foster. Opaque lyrics overlay memorable melodies, with the whole submerged in some very unusual and memorable production. Nothing here sounds like a slick, run-of-the-mill pop record; the guitar on the opening track sounds like a banjo (maybe it is!), and the stomping, crashing drum kit on "Ten Green Bottles" sounds like it was recorded in a toilet, and yet works wonderfully. A lot of risks have been taken in the recording of this album, and they pay off. Its great and your'll be hearing new things every time you listen.
Sam Wise (ACOUSTIC MAGAZINE)
Singer-songwriter Andrew Foster from Portsmouth is a regular in Roots Time. In October 2008 we discussed his previous full LP Media Ghost praise had already spoken about two EPs "Behind Closed Doors" and "Watching Clocks"
We believe that he appreciates his appearance again from the fact that we have a pre-release copy of his latest CD "The Garden" for a review. On this album he goes for a slightly different approach compared to his previous album, there is some more instrumentation in his songs, though simple acoustic songs are still here.
Album opener "Evil Tree" has as little more panache but the subsequent "Like The Flowing River" sounds sometimes very intimate and sober with sensitive vocals. The Neil Young-clone in Andrew Foster shows up in the folk song "I Belong To You "and the beautifully sung songs" Signals "and "Everybody Gets It Wrong Sometimes".
The happy, cheerful tones of "I Can not Help You Now "and" Fight Talk "(very similar to work of "Mumford & Sons" or "Fleet Foxes") portray that the artist sometimes has a positive message in his songs. The Garden has some very swirly production, and "In The Shadows "and" Jealousy "are quite low fi in their betrayal.
Andrew Foster is home to many markets and proves this on "The Garden", with a varying range to songs and song styles and even his vocal performance varies widely.
He also demonstrates his ability in other fields, even as producer of his new album.
This is again a nice performance and we look forward to more new material.
Having already reviewed the two EPs that led to this album, it feels only right to complete the set. Andrew Foster is a heart-on-the-sleeve, straight up minstrel, sometime solo strumming serenader, othertime vocal figurehead and a songwriter with considerable pathos at his command.
Media Ghost's main strength is that, unlike many self produced debuts, it feels like an album rather than a collection of 'material so far'. There's genuine highs and lows, a mix of styles that stays the right of eclectic and, despite there being definite highlights, nothing that could be called filler. At times there's even an intimacy that can't be faked, always the most difficult thing for a solo artist to achieve.
It's tempting to offer the criticism that the album descends on occasion into a kind of over-emotional melodrama. But then, that would be denying the possibility of maybe just a hint of a promise of a tear in a certain cynical critic's eye…
Keeping in line with Andrew Fosters previous work, The Garden is a timeless and consistent singer/songwriter album of the old school variety.
Opening track Evil Trees is a mini folk epic. Whilst boasting a creepy, dark feel to it, there is a very definite Englishness maintained throughout. Indeed this could be the soundtrack to the cosiest of English winters all by itself. I Belong To You is tremendously good fun. It is simply a good old fashioned bar room stomp complete with plinky plonky piano, handclaps and harmonica which leaves you feeling inebriated without touching a drop. The crisp acoustica of I Cant Help You Now melts the heart lyrically with Fosters voice mixing the falsetto of Delays Greg Gilbert and the growl of Kelly Jones and the deft arrangements continue with In The Shadows.
Best of all is the title track. The Garden is a cacophony of other worldly sounds and influences, mixed in with a Hacienda styled bassline, big baggy beats, crunching guitars and countless effects. Its dark, angular and jagged and represents a man clearly on top of his game.
That is followed by what would appear to be the startling frank and autobiographical Jealousy. Lyrically it makes you reel, benefiting from a layered acoustic backing. Old Traditions, New Fabrications shows a dark humour to Fosters lyrics and Signals has a lovely laid back feel to it with Melanie Burbridges backing vocals adding colour.
The Garden is a deeply satisfying collection, showcasing Andrew Foster as a talent who knows how to achieve a subtle and rare balance.
PLAYING OUT LOUD
Often featured folk rock troubadour Andrew Foster's latest sees him continuing in a similarly rich vein to his previous releases, although this time with added humour. It's mainline of traditional singer songwriter sensibilities touching on the melancholic, the lively and the lovely, the surreal and the epic, with a side order of moonshine'd backing band
BREAKING MORE WAVESOne of the most wonderful films about music in the last decade is Once. It is a beautifully human tale of a Dublin singer who falls for a Czech immigrant. It features the most tender but uplifting music that gels in perfect synchronicity with the visuals. Butterflymind by Andrew Foster sounds like a lost outtake from that film. There are gentle soft hued acoustic guitars, flushes of subtle piano and voice that gives off a secure fireplace warmth.
Foster is seated in the traditions of the male singer songwriter for sure. There is nothing progressive or particularly unusual about his songs such as Watching Clocks and the harmonica led Hovering Over The Red Button. Instead he is steeped in the craft of developing his skill, to produce a melody that is natural and honest. He writes in a quiet personal way exemplified on tracks such as the questioning Snow Through The Window where he asks What if I had never taken a chance? What If Id had never spent the time? What if I had never replied to the mail? Before concluding You wouldnt know me and I wouldnt know you.
Foster is central to the hub of the more intelligent, and mature sounding young artists that herald from the Portsmouth scene. A collaborator with both Loz Bridge and The B Of The Bang both featured earlier this week, Foster has supported a whole range of artists from eighties singer songwriter Nik Kershaw to the likes of Mumford and Sons
BREAKING MORE WAVES