the bamboos - stepping it up
On the last Thursday of April in 2007, Melbourne venue Ms. Libertine played host to the city's - and indeed Australia's - premier super-heavy break-driven deep-funk act, the Bamboos. It was a privileged and appreciative crowd who rocked the floor that night, happy in the understanding that this was the unveiling of a brand spankin' new set that the band were taking over to conquer faraway European lands. A feat partly achieved during the last tour in mid-2006 and after the opening fifteen minute exodus into the land of funk-soul mash-up a la Shadow and Cut's Brainfreeze it was clear in everyone's mind that they were going all the way.
When the Bamboos play, the only thing tighter than their groove is their outfits. Since first releasing the "Eel Oil/Blackfoot" 7" on their own imprint Bamboo Shack Records to critical world-wide acclaim, the lineup has grown and changed from a straight-up bass/drums/guitar/keys outfit to a fully fledged review lineup with three horns, a wonderful new singer in Kylie Aldis and a dedicated dance combo, the Bambettes (lethal body-poppers) - as well as occasional guests from the likes of Alice Russell, Aloe Blacc and Ohmega Watts. With a solid anchor of ball-tearing drum breaks and funky-ass bass underlaying tight keys and guitar licks, the three horns hold tight in the pocket until they're unleashed for devastating solo work during the climax of the show.
And what a show - the floor was well and truly rocked that night as the band rolled through material from their upcoming album, "Rawville" - due in June of 2007 on Tru Thoughts Records - as well as a few favourites from the last album, their debut "Step It Up" from 2006. The new songs sound fresh - and the deep-funk adoring world waits with baited breath, one reviewer describing it as '...arguably the best funk album of the modern era'. Well certainly the first 7" with Ohmega Watts - which was released in April - is a banger, it's called "Get In The Scene" and this is what Dusty Groove America had to say about it:
'Funky goodness from The Bamboos -- easily one of the greatest funky combos working today! "Get In The Scene" is a masterpiece of skittish guitars, snapping beats, and tightly fluttering horn parts ... Ohmega Watts raps on the vocal side, sounding better than we remember in a long time...'
... and I couldn't agree more!
We feel proud to have such a band touring the globe.
Look out for the launch of their second album - Rawville - at No Standing on June 8th. You can check their site for upcoming European shows. Also check out Bamboo's songwriter and band leader Lance Ferguson's debut album, Lanu, also on Tru Thoughts. myspace.com/lanumusic