Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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The Haggis Horns: Floridita 15/5/12

The Haggis Horns (Malcom and Dan) Floridita 15/5/12
The Haggis Horns (Malcom and Dan) Floridita 15/5/12 The Haggis Horns (Ben Baker) Floridita 15/5/12 The Haggis Horns (Atholl Ransome) Floridita 15/5/12

The Haggis Horns just have to be one of the best live bands I have ever seen. Their music never seems to age and they just get better at playing it. There are absolutely no passengers in this band. They are all excellent musicians and if even if they have slimmed down dramatically to a five piece based around the nucleus of Atholl Ransome on saxes/flute/perc/vocals and Malcolm Strachan on trumpet/flugelhorn/perc/vocals,they still kick ass!

New on board too are Dan Goldman (aka JD73) on keyboards and moog bass, Luke Flowers on drums and Ben Barker on guitar/vocals, underpinning sweetly, the raw virtuosity of the horns. This sleeker sound has become the ideal setting for their new and classic material. THH got the dance floor jumping virtually from the off - warning! This band are heavy hitters! And I might add, they are sounding better now than ever!

THH were in great form on the London leg of their tour. The music was clever, honed to nigh on perfection and consistently impressive. The audience were totally engaged and the band responded fantastically. Their stomach churning soloing will leave you with burns, they mashed it in this department. While one blows hard the other one nips in and tries to steal his glory, no tatty old cliches here either!

You can't front on the Haggis Horns. Even if you don't know their pedigree as purveyors of some seriously funky music-courted by producers and soul divas for a dash of cool - the music can't fail to move you. Harmonically too they stray from the JB groove with an almost fusion sound, showing a musical depth that few funk bands really have, very subtle and not to the expense of the dance floor either!

They played just about everything I wanted to hear with a freshness, soulfulness and energy that made me realise that whilst the 60s was the decade when music broke on through, (they reference this with Lou Donaldson's "Alligator Bogaloo") the other side, the 70s headhunters period was a time to really get you chops up and groove on, THH know this instinctively.

Ransome (not Fela!) makes playing the sax seem like something we should all do, it looks so easy until he solos and his outburst on the Kay-Gees classic "Keep On Bumping" tore the floridita's roof off sucker as did the old Kool & The Gang's "Whose Gonna Take The Weight." Old favourites like "The Traveller Part 2" inevitably featured long and large, and a good thing too. Strachan (not Gordon!) played with his usual guile, and Barker (not Ronnie!) strutted with his soulful command of the guitar.

Few remained seated by the time the encore was reached. For a great night out for soul/funk fans you couldn't get much better. Things are stirring at funky Floridita's get down there for a top night!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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