Music Reviews

Balance_front-cover-high-copy

FUNKE AND THE TWO TONE BABY – Balance

‘Funke’ is Dan Turnbull, a one-man band, who has taken the live use of loop pedals, playing and sampling to levels beyond the comprehension of most other musicians. Using up a huge amount of physical energy, not to mention concentration, he has built up a wide and enthusiastic live following through constant touring and festival appearances, and in the process developed his own musical sub-genre ‘alt-mechanical electro-blues’.

Previous releases have included a series of self produced and released E.Ps, and a debut album – the well received ‘Battles’. An increasing degree of musical competency and production values have been evident in Dan’s recorded output, whilst retaining the raw edge of his live performances. New album ‘Balance’s opening track and live favourite ‘Not Enough Bonobo’ welds a Kink’s-esque riff to a demented barnyard blues stomp, followed up by a more ‘traditional’ blues sounding track ‘Not Looking For It Anymore’.

Added to Funke’s core live elements: guitar, beatboxing, harmonica and FX, more studio elements are evident on this new release in terms of defined basslines and electric guitar sounds. What hasn’t changed though are the dark lyrical elements – sometimes comic, often impenetrable, but frequently intriguing, and underlying pop components – cheeky, catchy riffs and vocal hooks that stay with you – ‘If You’re Nice To Me’ being a fine example.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

The dredgermen

THE DREDGERMEN – The Dredgermen

An acoustic four-piece from the Medway Towns, The Dredgermen take elements of traditional folk, sea shanties and musical hall rhythms, adding an edgy, almost punky lyrical delivery that recalls The Pogues, Billy Bragg and Ian Dury. Their eponymous debut album is a very listenable collection of original tales weaved around themes of the docks, the sea, love, and characters past and present from the Medway Delta, with a nod to the work of Billy Childish and Sally Ironmonger.

Lead singer Patrick Engelbert is a confident lyricist with an authentic delivery and a knack for a sing-a-long chorus. Stand out tracks are ‘Man Overboard’, ‘Be I A Man, Be I A Beast’ and live set closer ‘Tommy’. A mixture of melancholic tales, upbeat stompers and memorable tunes, backed by guitar, mandolin, percussion and bass – ‘raw folk’ as the band themselves describe it.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 king-size-slim--milk-drunk-cd

KING SIZE SLIM – Milk Drunk

Toby Barelli – a.k.a King Size Slim, is a predominantly solo artist with a distinctive take on blues and roots influenced music. With the simplest of elements – acoustic guitars, voice and footstomp, he has been entertaining audiences across the South East for a decade, and is now finding fans further afield through UK festival appearances and shows in Europe.

His first full length album ‘Milk Drunk’ also incorporates percussion and bass layers, alongside resonator guitars, slide and on ‘Wake Up The Town’ a one stringed home made instrument – twanged raucously throughout. Switching from heartfelt, emotive rootsy numbers such as ‘Angel Dear’ and ‘I Hope Its You’ to the poignant ‘Leaving Portsmouth Town’ through to the up-tempo roar of ‘Dark Soul’, the album is a ‘tour-de-force’ of highly crafted, well written songs without any filler – a rare feat in the current musical climate.

BACK TO MAIN LISTINGS HOME PAGE