Friday night funk is just the tonic

A heady concoction of chest-rattling bass and thunderous, hypnotic funk grooves was swallowed up by a sold out Lerwick Legion last night.

Organiser Lyall Halcrow had promised Federation of The Disco Pimp would have punters up on the dance floor, and by the end they were even up on the furniture too.

The Friday night funk fest saw four acts on the bill, with DJ Brendan Hall playing a fine funk vinyl set to open up the evening.

It set the tone for the night as folk filtered through the doors and gig-goers, who had clearly brought their dancing shoes, took to the floor.

Since moving to the isles, this reviewer has continually been struck at the quality of local musicians, and with The FB and Troppo Funk it was clear to see why the bar is set so highly.

The former have been garnering praise for their laid-back, free-flowing, jam-style.

Meaty lead lines, from Lewis Hall on keys, sparkling trumpet from Drew Garrick on trumpet and the slick and punchy backing of Joanne Tait on bass and David Varga on keys was a joy to watch.

The young band made it look effortless and Tait showed she has a strong vocal to match her bass playing.

Troppo Funk had been impressed with their performance too, with frontman Joe Watt heaping praise on the band during their slot that followed.

Watt’s gravelly vocals at times accompanied the hypnotic whirlwind of bass-laden grooves and drummer Murray’s punchy panache had the drummer from the headline act grabbing his phone to take a video of his skills from the sideline.

Troppo Funk's Norman Willmore tears into a sax solo. Photo: Chris Brown.
Troppo Funk’s Norman Willmore tears into a sax solo. Photo: Chris Brown.


Norman Willmore on keys and sax added fantastic flourishes and rasping brass to palm-muted, snappy rhythms from Watt and irresistibly catchy bass riffs from Hayden Hook.

Troppo Funk had whipped the burgeoning dancers into a frenzy.

Guitarist Tom Jones joined the band on stage to double up the head nodding brilliance, before the band melted into the famous Average White Band’s Pick up the Pieces.

Federation of The Disco Pimp squeezed on the stage and picked up the musical baton with mammoth and intoxicating instrumentals.

No Place Like Home had the audience clapping along and keyboard player Marco Cafolla was up on his feet roaring “soul power”, hands, aloft down the mic for the snappy dressers’ rendition of the James Brown number.

I Love Tomorrow saw guitarist Michael Berrich take to the mic, with machine-gun like drums and glorious sax solos.

The wah-wah driven On The Ground was a standout of the night and by the end of the gig there were many who didn’t want it to end.

Berrich clambered onto the shoulders of a front row music lover and ripped into a guitar solo, to the delight of the audience who rushed to grab their phones for a photo.

Another funk-fuelled Friday? Yes please!


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