Tag Archives: Funke and the two tone baby

A Party At The Fleece – Bristol

I don’t often head to Bristol for gigs.  Frustratingly the city has an incredible live music culture but it is so difficult to get to from Dorset.  The journey is under 70 miles but it can easily take 3-hours to do the drive.  In reality this rules out travelling to a gig and coming home the same night.  The thought of driving 70 miles, late at night on some of the worst roads in the country doesn’t bear thinking about.

This was a gig that we almost didn’t go to because we are off on holiday on Monday but in the end the allure of a brilliant line-up and the prospect of meeting up with some great friends just before we go away proved too great.

After sorting our hotel and grabbing a bite to eat it was time to head off to the Seven Stars for a few pints before the music started.  It was wonderful to see so many friends had made the trip and we were soon chatting and laughing together as we renewed old friendships and made new  ones.

What a great line-up of artists the fleece had for us.  The evening was kicked off by the irrepressible Doozer McDooze.  You can’t help but love Doozer.  His enthusiasm, sense of fun and clever lyrics bring a smile to every face in the room.  Doozer’s song “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”  has been adopted as a festival anthem by those of us who love grassroots festivals.  Tonight Doozer brought the house down as every voice in the room joined in singing the anthem at the top of their voices.

You cannot fail to enjoy yourself when Doozer plays and so tonight proved once again.  Doozer set the scene for a Kent invasion of the west country and laid the foundations for a fantastic evenings entertainment.  Next up were another festival favourite act, Hobo Jones and The Junkyard Dogs.

I have lost count of the number of times I have seen the Hobo’s this year but they never fail to entertain.  The “godfathers of Skunk” are so amusing with their blend of madcap covers interspersed with often self-deprecating humour.  The jokes may be familiar but they never seem to lose their currency largely because the boys facial expressions and the audience reaction is enough to keep you laughing.  Davey Malone is an expert at playing to the audience and as a result the performance always seems fresh.

Hobo Jones at the fleece

That’s not to say that the Hobo’s can’t produce a moment that brings a lump to your throat.  They did so last night with their version of  “Fairytale Of New York” which was dedicated to Kirsty MacColl on the 15th Anniversary of her tragic death.

Next up on the night was another man of Kent the simply incredible Funke and The Two Tone Baby.  Funke and Gaz Brookfield have just been out on tour together and in their journeys up and down the country they sold out over half of the dates, quite a feat for two independent artists.

Funke is in my opinion one of the best songwriters I have ever heard, his lyrics are complex and occasionally surreal.  His mix of guitar, harmonica and voice and creative use of loop pedals creates a unique soundscape rooted in the blues but thoroughly modern and absorbing.  The crowd were  bouncing throughout Funke’s set and by the end we were all as exhausted as he was.  The mild weather, a packed house and the energy coming from the stage ensured that by the end of his set Funke had the crowd dripping with sweat as we all jumped and bounced along with him.

I was so hot by the end of Funke’s set that I had to get outside for a sit down and some fresh air.  Whilst I was outside Gaz Brookfield opened his set with his now traditional “land Pirates Life.”  On dashing back inside I found that the venue was absolutely rammed, so packed that I couldn’t get anywhere near close enough to take any decent photographs.

As any fan of Brookfield knows Gaz doesn’t know how to give anything less than 100% and tonight was no exception.  As a rule Brookfield plays solo or with Ben Wain on fiddle but tonight we were treated to a full band performance as Gaz was joined by The Company Of Thieves.

Gaz’s performance as always was flawless and we were treated to an exceptional set as we were treated to favourites like Under The Table, Diabetes Blues, Ode To Ozzy and the Ballad Of Elizabeth Duke and Godless Man.

Brookfield’s performances are always high energy and entertaining.  He is always an incredibly engaging performer but I thought the addition of a full band added something to the show.  Of course the addition of a band is always going to add depth and vibrancy to the sound but there was more to it that just that.

I felt that Gaz enjoyed sharing the stage, the interaction between Gaz and the members of the band added an additional sense of theatre.

I am delighted to have made the trip to Bristol, I enjoyed a quite brilliant evenings entertainment among friends and kindred spirits, what more could you possibly wish for?

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Funke and the two tone baby

A Post A Day Photo Challenge – May 15 2015

Hi folks, I am taking on a challenge to post a photograph every day for a full year startingon New years Day.  Please join in by uploading a photograph of your own and leaving a pingback here 🙂

Todays offering is a couple of shots of Funke And The Two Tone Baby.  Keep an eye out for a review of his amazing new album in the next few day, check out the video of the single available now as a taster.  You can buy it here.

Funke and the two tone baby

Something else Somewhere Else

Funke and the Two Tone Baby

Funke And The Two Tone Baby – ‘I’m Not Well’ [Video]

Funke and the Two Tone Baby is the non-de-plume of the one man tour-de-force that is Kent based Dan Turnbull.

Funke plays the blues but man this is the blues like you never heard it before.  Combine a guitar led blues shuffle with harmonica, beatboxing, loop and effects pedals, add powerful vocals and mix it all together with an energy that leaves you exhausted just watching him and you get close to understanding Dan’s sound.

I’m Not Well” is taken from Dan’s forthcoming album “Balance” check out this taster and then get ready to buy the album when it’s released.  If this track is anything to go by we are in for a treat.

Funke and the two tone baby

Lets get back to the music [Video] – Funke and the Two Tone Baby

For todays listening pleasure I bring you the absolutely incomparable Dan Turnbull as Funke And The 2Tone Baby.

What a phenomenal talent this young man is.  His skill with loop pedals is second to none, his shows are a supernova blast of high energy.  Without question one of the most talented performers in the UK today.

Once you listen to this click on the link above and buy some of his music.  If he is playing near you go see him!

Funke and the two tone baby

Review Funke And The Two Tone Baby: The Last Thing We’ll See Is The Sea

Dan Turnbull is better known to his fans as Funke And The Two Tone Baby.  Funke released his latest EP ‘The Last Thing We Will See Is The Sea’ in June 2014.  This was Funke’s first release since his debut album ‘Battles’ a year previously.  The disc features four tracks, ‘The Great Storm’, ‘Never Used To Dance’, ‘Wasting My Love’ and ‘Darkest Of Days’.  It says much about the quality of Funke’s output that the EP’s lead track featured on Tom Robinson’s BBC6 introducing and his Easter playlist.

The Ep features Dan playing guitar, harmonica, beatbox, stomp box and vocals, in other words he does it all, well he does have a little support with drumming from Steve Moore.  Anyone who is at all familiar with Funke and The Two Tone Baby will be aware of the quality of his live performances.  Frankly they have to be seen to be believed but for the uninitiated I will give a brief summary.  Funke’s broad genre can really only be described as experimental Blues tinged Americana.  Live he uses loops to add layers to his performance.  The loops are a mix of guitar, harmonica, beatbox and vocal, recorded live on stage and used to add a creative depth to his performance.  In an odd way I guess Funke is a modern twist on the one man band.

Funke and the two tone Baby

Funke and the 2Tone Baby live at DogFest

I couldn’t wait to hear how it would translate to the recorded medium.  Put simply it translates magnificently.  I confess I had high expectations, I had seen Funke perform five or six times over the course of this year, but nothing prepared me for what I heard.  It is almost beyond belief that one person can create such a big sound on his own.  Funke sounds like a full blown five piece blues rock band all by himself.  It is simply incredible stuff.

So what of the songs? Well without exception they are well written and beautifully produced.  Lead track, ‘The great Storm’ is a riff driven blues telling the story of a storm as it rises and finally explode, but let me tell you brother, it ain’t about the weather.  As with any great blues it’s about emotion and relationships, as the song builds you can feel the tension rise, its a dramatic song building to a massive crescendo before a short bridge takes the level down to a period of relative calm, the eye of the storm.  The level rises again as the storm passes, the song ends and Funke leaves you to deal with the devastation that is left in its wake.

Funke and the two tone baby

Funke at Dogfest

‘Never used to Dance’ begins with a thumping Bass and a layer of beatbox, the guitar comes in playing a little two bar riff and then the vocal arrives with Funke urging you to ‘raise your hands in the air and put your feet through the floor, shake the world and watch the ceiling fall’.  Doubtless A metaphor perhaps indicative of the turmoil across the world, perhaps indicative of some inner turmoil.  It doesn’t matter the pint is that it gets you considering turmoil and what it means to you, I suspect that is the point, it is allegorical and interpretation is left to the listener.

‘Wasting my Love’ is probably my favourite song of the four, it opens with a BB King style blues riff, additional layers are added until the vocal comes in, “If lust is your sin of choice, then wrath is my vice and its louder than your voice”!  Wow!  Funke goes on “you tell me to show some pride, yet you act so obscene, in this world of contradictions you are queen”, “I spend all this time wasting my love on you”.  Brilliant stuff by Funke, emotions laid bare, anger on show, pain apparent, a simply brilliant blues.

The EP finishes with another big song, ‘Darkest of Days’ opens with a soulful harmonica piece backed by a bass beat, it builds slowly layer on layer both vocally and musically, “I see the storm clouds rolling over me” until Funke repeats over and over “You won’t go away, these are the darkest of days”.  Its dramatic, its absorbing and as it slowly builds to its climax you feel it right down in your gut, your heart rate rises and then BOOM! all too soon its over leaving you reeling in its wake wondering what has just hit you.

The only criticism I have of Funke’s EP is that you want it to go on and on, it leaves you cast adrift in the storm, gasping for air, battered and bruised, reeling.  It is a quite incredible piece of work that leaves you crying out for more, had there been another 10 tracks and 60 minutes of music it would still seem too short and you would still be on your knees begging for more!  If you don’t own it buy it now, right now, click this link and spend the measly £5 it will cost to own a masterpiece.  While you are there buy Funke’s live album too