There is a Funk riot going on in South London. Leading the revolt are the Soul Immigrants. Led by former Funk Ambassadors (the backing band of the JB’s tour when they first came to London in the 80’s) singer/guitar player Emrys Baird, the now bandleader, is the chef behind their hard, raw, and gritty, Deep Funk stew of a sound. Taking stage and radio by storm and joining Baird are David Bouet on drums, Al Gibson on bass, Stu Ross on keys, Lady Dee on alto sax and Ian Bailey on tenor & baritone sax. This band’s recipe for realistic sounding Deep Funk must be shared, and with this release off of their own Dry Rooti Records, you’ll soon hear why.
“The Ghetto, There’s No Way Out” weaves a familiar tale of life across the tracks. A high energy Afro-Funk bomb, this side explodes with the first needle drop. It sounds like the soundtrack to the streets of Oakland or Chicago in 1973, but the Soul Immigrants are very much here in 2012 in London. With hard hitting drums and a great breakdown (cue sax solo and ghetto rhetoric), this dance floor mover gives you a solid beat to the sounds of what is on the street. Whether it’s early 70’s or present day, the message is clear. The ghetto is no way out. The B side is another winner, “Sunk Without the Funk”. A keyboard lovers paradise (and some great drumming featured as well), this reminds me of some Lonnie Smith Live at Club Mozambique grooves, but on steroids. Fast, furious, and on the brink of being out of control, this tune is every bit as good as the first side. Already championed by people like Craig Charles of BBC and singer Charles Bradley, the Soul Immigrants are in the pocket and on the move. Look for them at a fine record store near you.
Listen to The Soul Immigrants – The Ghetto, There’s No Way Out
Listen to The Soul Immigrants – Sunk Without the Funk
Get this record from Sticky Records here.