Five Alarm Funk - Five Alarm Funk


Big bands are back … not the Tommy Dorsey–style swing orchestras of the 30s and 40s but the horn-driven Afrobeat and funk of Fela Kuti and James Brown. Five Alarm Funk is an Afro- Funk powerhouse from Vancouver who have revitalized the deep grooves and kitschy costumes of the 70’s. After igniting Vancouver stages with their own Afro-Caribbean beats, Five Alarm Funk are ready to make their recording debut. The late, great father of Afrobeat, Fela Kuti once said, “I refuse to live my life in fear.” Scores of admiring musicians during the 60s and 70s watched him fearlessly stand up to an oppressive regime in Nigeria as he was defining some of the most danceable grooves in history with his huge Afrobeat orchestras. Now, this twelve piece Vancouver rhythm machine is paying forward Afrobeat’s magnetic energy. Guitarist, Gabe Boothroyd explains, “There’s a huge Fela Kuti influence in Five Alarm Funk. We take that and combine it with some James Brown and Kool and the Gang and throw in a lot of youthful energy and reckless enthusiasm.” Antibalas also loomed large in this band’s developing sound but not everybody has to have a political beef to fry and that’s where Five Alarm Funk part company with their inspirations. The Afrobeat is ever-present but the lyrics are all about getting the party started and that’s just fine. These upstarts have plenty of time to find a cause.