Reviews

Written By: Alex Hurrel
Aricle Date: 7th June 2012
Article:here
 

Its name is as edgy and creative as its sound – and now a rising young north Norfolk band hopes to reach an even wider audience, performing on the same stage as ex-Simple Minds stars at a summer festival.

Mucked Up Funkies (Muf), whose members write much of their own material, has earned itself a prime slot at August’s Reepham Festival after beating five other contenders to win this month’s Cawston Battle of the Bands contest.

Muf members range in age from 15-21 and include brother and sister Luis and Jazz Blake. of Townsend, Buxton, who formed the funk-rock band with drummer and neighbour Liam Ramsker, 17, in 2009 because “we wanted to do something quite groovy and funk-based”, according to guitarist/singer Luis, 18.

Their influences include Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jamiroquai, Frank Zappa, the Beatles, Herbie Hancock “and anyone who grooves”.

The trio were joined by Alex Tebble, 18, of Mundesley Road, North Walsham, in 2010 and the Cawston line-up was completed by bass player Leo Tsang, 21, a student at City College, who lives in Norwich.

Luis said: “Some of our songs have an underlying political message and some are about our own experiences – we try to make them quite subjective so that people can take away from them what they want,”

Muf has already built up a reputation and played a number of gigs at Norwich pubs The Boundary, King Edward VII and The Brickmakers, as well as The Jolly Farmers in Swanton Abbott, and White Horse, Cromer.

Steve Nunn, Reepham Festival music manager and one of the Cawston judges, said Muf had deserved to take the honours, and a £250 prize.

He had been impressed at their quality, stage presence, energy and originality.

The band will play on the Reepham Town Square stage on the Saturday night of the August 11-12 festival where the line-up includes Simple Minds ex-members Derek Forbes and Brian McGee, Limehouse Lizzy and Buster James.

Unlike many teenage brothers and sisters, Luis said he and Jazz, 15, who plays keyboard, synthesiser and sings, got on well together – most of the time.

“We tend to have a high level of understanding – just communicating by looking at each other,” said Luis.”

The siblings’ parents, Andy and Tanya Blake, are also heavily involved in Muf, which Mr Blake manages.

“They all work incredibly hard, rehearsing and often playing for charity. It takes a tremendous amount of their time and energy and it is hard for them all to balance music lessons, band rehearsals, gigs, college/school, exams and also have a social life. They have very little money as they can’t really manage a job too, so they make great sacrifices,” said Mrs Blake.

“It is quite an expensive and time-consuming business supporting them but we do our best as we totally believe in them and are inspired by their total dedication and the fantastic songs they write.”

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Written By: Michael Drummond
Gig Date: 14 October 2011
Venue:B2
Article: here
 

Starting off their set with a solid rock song made interesting by the use of a keyboard as a lead part, the Mucked Up Funkies began their set skilfully. Aside from some nerves that showed through the drums, which were improved after a couple of songs, the band was in sync and competent all the way through their performance.

Hailing from Norwich, the oldest member of the band is only 17 which makes them even more impressive. The whole band have been together for just under a year and have already had interest from a local promoter.

Their setlist was a mix of original material and covers of artists like Jet and the Blues Brothers, although the original material was easily the highlight of the set. This was particularly evident in their 7th song where individual parts were simplified in favour of extended solos including a keyboard piece which formed the best moment of the entire show. The keyboard works well in the places where it’s used as a lead part since it brings the other instruments together.

Musically they could do with being a little bit more inventive; some of their songs came across a little similar, although not unbearably so. Also they could benefit from making their songs more progressive in places. In other aspects they were very talented however, the vocals of the band were surprisingly good. The lead singer seemed especially confident in his position on stage, only once seeming to overdo the lyrics on their cover of Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl.

Overall the band came across as a very talented group capable of being successful at a local level, if not in wider circles. Their particular brand of rock is one of the most accessible genres so you can be sure of enjoying the show.

 

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Written By: Matt Nobbs
Gig Date: 8th September 2011
Venue: The Norkie, Bowthorpe, Norwich

Mucked Up Funkies are one of the best young bands around at the moment. With over 40 covers and a pack of original tracks this band oozes funk. Featuring tracks from the ages MUF are one hell of an act to follow!

These guys are destined for big things – CHECK THEM OUT BEFORE YOU HAVE TO PAY BIG BUCKS!

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EDP 17th Sept 2011 Letters section p32

Young musicians deserve success

Trefor Lewis, Layer close, Norwich.

A week ago I heard an amazing band, at the Norkie Pub in Bowthorpe, called ‘Mucked Up Funkies’.

They are five very talented musicians, their ages ranging from the keyboard player who is only 15 to 17 years of age. They also write their own music. I have not enjoyed hearing a live band so much for years. If there is any justice they will succeed in the music business.

 

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