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"This is a boss first entry from any band, but as the first funk single from a nation? Pow?"
Big Daddy Magazine (UK)
"The drumming is what really makes the whole thing kick -- rolling along like a JB's B-side, but with some of the tightest electric guitar work we've heard on an underground soul single in a while!?"
Heavyweight funk act The Bamboos hail from Australia. Their first 7? single was limited to a pressing of only 300 copies but the tracks ?Eel Oil? b/w ?Blackfoot? quickly made waves around the world.
Based on this first piece of limited-edition wax, funk-connoisseurs and producers Kenny Dope and Keb Darge signed The Bamboos for a single on their Kay Dee record label. ?Tighten Up? b/w ?Voodoo Doll? cemented their reputation amongst the global funk community and saw the band make new friends with fans of heavy dance floor beats.
?I sense in our music, and music from bands like Breakestra and The Quantic Soul Orchestra, that a subtle shift that has taken place. A few years ago all the new funk bands were dubbed ?retro?. But I think as time has progressed and we have all been performing live that new elements have become standard for live 'new' Funk bands to get across to a contemporary audience,? says band leader and producer Lance Ferguson. ?Things like really extended drum breaks, segueing whole sets of music together (DJ-style), employing MC's etc. It's raw Funk played with an aesthetic to get over with the Hip Hop crowd. I think this 'style' makes what we do actually fresh and in some ways a progression of the Funk style.?
UK based Tru Thoughts signed the act for an album and Ubiquity picked-up the record for North America. This will be the fourth record to be released under the Tru Thoughts/Ubiquity arrangement following on from The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Nostalgia 77, and Quantic album releases.
The Bamboos "Step It up" album collects the first single, as well as new versions of the Kay Dee-released tracks. Also featured are exclusive tracks featuring Tru Thoughts vocalist Alice Russell including a cover version of the UK Broken Beat anthem "Transcend Me" (originally by Afronaught). The Bamboos sound is most heavily influenced by The Meters, James Brown, Eddie Bo, Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, Jimmy Smith, Reuben Wilson, Boogaloo Joe Jones, Idris Mohummad and other funk originators from the late 1960s through the early 1970s.
Led by Guitarist Lance Ferguson, other members include Ben Grayson (Hammond Organ), Danny Farrugia (Drums), Yuri Pavlinov (Bass), Anton Delecca (Sax/Flute) and Ross Irwin (Trumpet). The band performed as backing musicians for the Quantic Soul Orchestra and Alice Russell in Australia, and have played many solo shows there, too. ?The Bamboos are most often booked to play on nights that are more Hip Hop-oriented. I think drawing this link between Funk and Hip Hop is important, and it has been a good way for us to get the music out to a broader audience,? says Ferguson. ?I would love to bring The Bamboos over to the USA ? the birthplace of the Funk! Depending on the success of the upcoming album we will definitely try to make it happen.?
Ferguson formed his Bamboo Shack label in Melbourne back in 2001. The label has become Australia?s premier source for deep funk and is home to The Bamboos and Cookin? On 3 Burners, and plans to document the Australasian deep funk scene with a string of slamming 45?s. ?There are definitely some great pieces from both Australia and New Zealand. Albums like 'Starlight', Alan Lee, Ted Vining, Col Nolan, The Daly Wilson Big band stuff...The list goes on. The prices are going way up for these things now, but you can still occasionally do well for some Australasian records in the second-hand stores,? says Ferguson.