Junkadelic Brass Band find New Orleans funk in first album Travelling in the Footsteps

Junkadelic Brass Band.
Junkadelic Brass Band.

WHEN buckets fall off the back of utes along the freeway, the musos from Junkadelic Brass Band get excited.

These buckets are a hot commodity for the Perth group members, whose instruments are made from recycled materials, and these freeway beauties are often used to make their snare drums.

“We also get other yellow buckets second-hand from the weighbridge in Midland and we cut the bottom out of them and put paper on them and they become our tom drums,” band creative director and bucket/drum player Ken ‘Papa Funken P’ Allen said.

“We use a lot of water bottles as well – like in the office water cooler – and I found 16 of them in great nick on a kerbside chuck-out once, so I have a lifetime supply.”

Known for their high-energy gigs inspired by Mardi Gras and Calypso festivals, the band performs New Orleans funk-jazz ‘second line’ music at community gigs and festivals.

“They do parades every other week in New Orleans and it’s about creating a vibe in the street and getting the second line, which is the dancers, to join in with you and shake shakers and play their own instruments along the way as you go along the street,” Allen said.

“We do our version of that on the opposite side of the world.”

They also perform percussion workshops in schools across WA, which they have done since forming in 2002.

“When I was a kid (Year 5), I went to Kalamunda Primary and they had a music class that my sister was in,” Allen said.

“Every kid in her class got to take a drum set home for a week and because it was in the home that was my first taste of playing drums and that’s what got me started.

“That exposure for kids to get a hands-on experience of playing music can change people’s lives down the track.”

The band will release its first album, Travelling in the Footsteps, this month.

The first half of the album pays tribute to the group’s personal journey and the second half honours the music of New Orleans.

 

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Junkadelic Brass Band album launch

Where: Mojos Fremantle

When: September 14

Tickets: www.mojosbar.com.au