The Bamboos are popularly known as the funkiest musos to step onto the scene since James Brown.
The Melbourne funk-soul band have released five albums and toured across the world, infecting numerous countries with a revival of the best music to come out of the ’60s and ’70s.
The Bamboos will release their newest album Fever in the Road this November – and Hobart is set to get a first taste of it at this year’s Tasmanian International Beerfest.
Band leader Lance Ferguson took some time to discuss the success of the band’s latest album Medicine Man, and the new music we can expect from their upcoming Tassie gig.
While the Bamboos started out producing a strict output of funk and soul based music, Lance says the band are stepping into new territories of style.
“Over the years, I’ve tried to steer the group away from being perceived as a genre based band. Funk is one aspect to what we do,” Lance says.
“We started out making music that was influenced by James Brown, but the new release we’re about to bring out is probably just as much influenced by Beck and Blondie.”
A music producer himself, Lance explains that he is “influenced by bands just as much as straight out producers.” Artists who double as producers, such as Beck, Brian Eno, Stereolab, and Nile Rodgers, are those who inspire him the most.
The group’s last album Medicine Man was so successful that it gained three ARIA nominations, with Lance justifying the release’s popularity with his improved songwriting skills, and the album’s shift away from hardcore funk.
“I just really wanted to write better and better songs and I guess that arc of development with my songwriting really seemed to click with people in that last record.”
“The new record we’ve got coming out is still a bit of pop, but a bit darker and edgier than Medicine Man.”
The Bamboos’ home town audiences are clearly jumping on board with the band’s changing style, as Lance proudly boasts their increasing success throughout Australia.
“When our band first started, we had our initial success in the UK and Europe, and now its actually turned around and Australia is our biggest territory, so its really cool.”
“We sell more records and do much bigger shows in Australia now than anywhere else.”
The Bamboos have visited Tassie twice before to play in the Falls Festival, but they are looking forward to rocking the Hobart Wharf for Beerfest.
“We’re going to have a whole bunch of new songs to play and everyone’s going to be really excited to be playing on stage,” Lance says.
“There’s going to be a lot of new music and a lot of music that the band are really excited to get into, so we’ll be really vibed up to play.”
“I’ve always wanted to play a headline show in Tasmania, so it’s exciting that we’ll do that.”
Although you can catch them at the state’s biggest beer drinking event, you won’t need to be under the influence to get your groove on with the Bamboos.
“The band is known as being a band that you can come and dance to and a party band.”
“I don’t have any specific moves to lay on you, but I guarantee that if you are intending to dance we will fulfil your need.”
Get your fulfilment of the Bamboos (and beer) between November 15 and 16 at Tasmanian International Beerfest. Details at tasmanianbeerfest.com.au.
BY STEPHANIE ESLAKE
This article was featured in Warp Magazine October 2013.
(Photo sourced: Warp Magazine)