The New Mastersounds
The New Mastersounds are a world-class, world renowned, instrumental funk band with 7 years of live performing, 5 full-length album releases and 21 seven-inch single releases under their belt. The NMS are Eddie Roberts (guitar & tambourine), Pete Shand (bass), Simon Allen (drums), Joe Tatton (Hammond & Rhodes), and Rob Lavers (sax & flute). All five of them met in Leeds, UK, and, as a BBC reviewer says, “NMS may produce some confusion: how can a collection of (mostly) pasty-faced Northerners produce with such authority the dusty funk grooves of the early 70s? It doesn’t matter – they just do.” History: In the late 1990′s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds called “The Cooker.” When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets. Roberts and Allen had played together in 1997 as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release it as an EP in 2000. As a band, and as individuals, they have since clocked up collaborations with an impressive array of musicians DJs and producers, including: Lou Donaldson (Blue Note Records), Corinne Bailey Rae (EMI), Carleen Anderson (Brand New Heavies), Keb Darge & Kenny Dope (Kay Dee Records), John Arnold (Ubiquity), Mr Scruff (Ninja Tune), Fred Everything (2020vision) James Taylor (JTQ), LSK (Faithless) and Karl Denson, who is a guest on their 2005 CD This is What We Do. Outside the UK they’ve played clubs and festivals in France, Spain, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Germany, Japan and Mexico. In the States since their first visit (HOB Chicago, 2004) they’ve toured with The Greyboy Allstars and been joined on stage by Ivan Neville, John Kimock, Cheme, Papa Mali, Karl D, Page McConnell (Phish) & Dave Grippo, Bryan Jordan (KDTU), Robert Walter, Skerik and Stanton Moore. In September 2006 they finished recording their fifth album, 102% (released Jan 2007). The album employs the talents of sax and flute player Rob Lavers who, since the 102% studio sessions, has become a permanent fixture in the live line-up. At the end of the year, organist Bob Birch bowed out due to family commitments. Cue Leeds star player Joe Tatton (Hammond & Rhodes) who had previously depped for Bob as well as working with UK soul star Corinne Bailey Rae and funk renegades The Haggis Horns. 2007 started auspiciously – on their very first Jamcruise the NMS were playing Meters tunes with George Porter Jr. sitting in – just one of the highlights of a legendary 3 hour set. Later in the cruise NMS bassist Pete Shand jammed with Galactic, to the audience’s evident delight. On their return to the UK the band were greeted by a capacity crowd at London’s prestigious Jazz Café venue, for the launch of 102%. They also performed tunes from the new record live on BBC Radio Two. To quote Jambase.com: The New Mastersounds are at the very top of an elite selection of acts that bring the true soul out of funk.