Nine-piece band are going to funky townBy Caroline Cook
April 13, 2012
Wild funk drum breaks, a razor sharp rhythm section, killer horn lines and a whole lot of soul – these are the ingredients which are helping a bunch of musicians whip up a frenzy in the charts.
With nine members who hail from Bracknell, Wokingham and Reading, Funkshone are making a big impact on the funk charts with their second album, 2.
The nine-piece band has been around since 2006 but has just broken into the big time with airplay on BBC 6 Music and an album riding high in the charts.
“We pushed it really hard, but for it to hit the top point in the first week was brilliant,” says producer and drummer Mike Bandoni.
“For us it’s really exciting but the pressure is on to keep radio play up and keep it out there.”
The album, which is released on UK funk label Skyline Recordings, is a mix of original funk and soul music, fusing percussion beats with the power vocals of talented singer Jaelee Small.
“We wanted to move on from the heavy late 60s’ influenced garage funk of the first album and move towards more intricate and involved styles that came about in the early 70s,” says producer, co-writer and keyboard player Nino Auricchio.
“We had some real fun making the album, bringing in lots of musicians with weird and wonderful instruments such as a theremin, a mellotron and a hammered dulcimer.
“We were really proud of the fact that all the sounds on the album are authentic, with no samples or loops and only using vintage instruments.”
Having secured success in the UK charts, the band are also making an impact in Japan after being picked up by the P-Vine label.
“It’s fantastic to have our music out there as well,” says Mike.
“They are very conscientious and they work very hard. They demand bigger products so we have to produce an 18-track record.
“It means we have a bit more hard work but it’s nicer to hand over a product with more to it.”
With nine members, who all have different day jobs, rehearsing together and securing recording and gig dates can be a challenge.
Nino, who lives in Woodley, is also a lecturer at the University of West London’s London College of Music and the School of Computing, while Bracknell-based Mike is also a music teacher at Reading College.
“It’s quite difficult,” says Mike.
“One of the reasons we are so big is because we have a percussionist and three pieces of brass.
“It can be quite difficult to get all of us in the same room but when we record or when we put on a show it’s always worth it.”
The band are getting ready for more performing around the UK in the summer, with gigs coming up at Soho hot spot Floridita, trendy Canary Wharf bar Boisdale, and the 229 Club in Great Portland Street.
“We’re really looking forward to taking the album out on the road,” says Nino.
“We’re going to be gigging all over the country this year, but a highlight will surely be supporting Fred Wesley and the New JBs at the 229 Club in Great Portland Street in July.”
With the album staying firmly rooted in the charts, and a third already on the horizon, it’s going to be a very funky year indeed for Funkshone.
- 2 by Funkshone is available to buy online via Amazon, HMV or i-Tunes.