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Their first shows in 1999 already showed signs for a successful future. Along with Manfred Mann’s lead singer Noel McCalla and David Mills as special guests the ten-piece funk combo played their first gigs – only half a year after founding the band. And these concerts set the standard for their future career, their concept and professional attitude not only impressed promoters and the audience, but fellow musicians as well. So it came that at the Aalener Jazzfest 99 (GER) Marla Glen and Roy Hargrove spontaneously joined the bandstand for a tune or two, and at the 1999 edition of the Jazzfestival Wiesen (A) Funky Brotherhood played a full show with Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley as their special guests.
After this first try-out tour the band teamed up with American vocalists Freda A. Goodlett and Rick Washington to do the already planned festival tour in summer 2000. The two voices as well as Freda and Rick’s personalities fit into the band so well that they decided to keep up working together. After playing the festivals in summer they went into the studio to record their first album “Sign Of Reality” (EMI 531·663·2) in fall 2000. Promoting the album meant hitting the road again, so Funky Brotherhood packed their bags and went out to play a rendition of 20 clubs all over Switzerland and Germany. Since they had successfully played the big festivals such as Gurten (CH), St. Gallen (CH), Eschenbach (CH), Vaduz (FL), Waidhofen a. T. (A) or Laupheim (GER) in summer, they would take a good deal of live experience on tour with them. Just like the gigs in summer their club shows received astonishing media presence with excellent reviews. The concerts attracted vast audiences, be it at Kammgarn Schaffhausen (CH), Coupole Biel (CH), Schützi Olten (CH) or at Zürich’s No. 1 venue Kaufleuten. Funky Brotherhood started their club tour with a show at the Bierhübeli Bern (CH) and a live broadcast by both Swiss national TV and radio and they ended it with a hard-knock show at the sold-out Paradiso Amsterdam on December 30, 2000.
Where ever they went last year, Funky Brotherhood left an electrified audience. The grooves of the band are fat and funky, the horn section is very tight and the singers convince with quality and character. The charismatic colourful voices of the two vocalists are featured live as well as on the album “Sign Of Reality” (EMI 531·663·2): Freda being the power woman with goose-bumps potential and Rick being the slick soulful gentleman The songs are nevertheless held together by a distinctive sound concept and rhythmic details - features which are already considered as “typically Funky Brotherhood”. Typical as well are the band’s live appearances: phat grooves, a lot of energy and good vibes on stage have always caused greasy mosh-pits within no time. Definitely a good party for everybody.
Now what are the band’s plans for 2001 after such a successful year? Considering the fact that Funky Brotherhood was founded only one year ago, it is unlikely that the band would reduce the tempo for the upcoming year. Already planned are various shows in the Netherlands and Belgium in April, in May they will play some club concerts in Germany and Switzerland and for summer 2001 they will conquer the festival scene once again. Also, they are thinking of putting out some more material: a single for early summer and a new album to be recorded in fall.
The Brothership has landed. Fasten your seatbelts.
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