Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S





Let’s face it playing at Ronnie Scott’s is not a given. I’ve seen many an act try too hard and fall flat on their face. You can’t just go steaming in, you have to work the room just a little and suss out the crowd before you fully unleash yourself.

Seasoned pros like BFE know this unwritten rule so the evening kicked off in a highly measured fashion testing the water,so to speak, with their mid tempo opener, ‘Magick Karpet Ride’.

A Middle Eastern slice of funk blessedness that whetted our appetite. Incidentally, the first thing you notice about BFE is the taut rhythm section comprising of bass player and bandleader Lati Kronlund and drummer,Hux Flux.These guys know how to lay down a magic carpet that’s for sure and they leave much hallowed space. Stripped down funky beats and round, resounding bass lines are what makes this band tick.With the mission statement stated it was time to ramp it up a little with the funkadelicious and intergalactic ‘Funk Ain’t Ova’ one of their top singles they released back in September 2019.Swiftly followed by ‘Scream’ a more recent single ; melodic funkateering at its best! The band were hitting there stride and Alison Limerick’s general bonhomie, great vocals and good vibes relaxed the audience so these guys could do their thing (enforce the funk.)

It was good to see the jazz ragamuffin, Desmond Foster do his thing too especially on ‘Istanbul Twilight’ his trusty arch top guitar sounded crisp and he bounces off Alison well as both of them show the love throughout proceedings. Newcomer, Loic Gayot ( judging by his jacket ) has earnt his stripes already putting in a fierce soprano sax solo and so too on ‘Watcha Want From Me’ with his imperious sounding tenor.

His cohort, Ebba Asman who looked liked she had stepped out of a Vemeer painting, was on top form too.The girl with the pearl trombone is only 23 and is with no doubt, a young jazz head on old shoulders. She was blowing up a storm single handedly on ‘Brooklyn Recycles’ and elsewhere.

It would be remiss of me not to mention keyboardist,Kristoffer Walkman. To my mind the Brian Eno of the band providing a texture of swishy soundscapes and mean funk moog especially on the aforementioned ‘Watcha Want From Me’.His contribution is err essential!

‘Where Love Lives’ really got the crowd going and ‘The Creator Has A Master Plan proved that BFE are groove ridden to the very last. Hux took out the evening with an incendiary drum solo and was joined by the barman on bongos behind me, who temporarily left his job of tending drinks and joined in behind the bar.When the staff join in you know you are onto a winner…….
Words Emrys Baird

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