Building on the success of last year’s greatest hits album (Solid Brass), funk/north soul brothers Smoove and Turrell return with a new album and new tour ready to rip the dance floor apart. Damian Robinson caught up with Smoove to find out more about the album and tour.
You’re back on tour shortly and have a great reputation as a live act. Do you find that tag a help or a hinderance?
It’s an interesting one because we started off as a band who tended to be more of a sample band and over time we’ve morphed into a live band. We’re not really fans of rehearsing, but as we spend a lot of time on the road we tend to be on good form. What I find most interesting is that even after so many years together it’s more likely to hear us being self-critical after a show rather than celebrating our sound. I think that level of personal pressure helps us set a bar and keep to it. We want every show to feel like New Years Eve so we tend to play every show as if it’s our last.
The onstage humour has also become something of a trademark
It has, and it comes from the belief that when you see a live band you want to connect with them. When I go to a live show I’ll be disappointed if the band don’t say anything to the crowd aside from ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. We want to connect with our crowd and over time chatting to the crowd, and trying to make people laugh, has become something that we feel helps our live show.
There’s new music on the horizon, what can you tell us about it?
The new album ‘Stratos Bleu’ is all finished and mixed and ready to be released. We’ll have a new single out shortly ‘Do it’ and then the album will be out in June. We’ll have the album available a special release at our Sage and Jazz Café gigs if people want to hear the album before it’s official release.
Nice. The Sage gigs always seem special
They are, we really enjoy playing the Sage. We’re doing quiet a few more gigs across the North East on this tour than we usually do. Where we can we try to limit ourselves a little in the North East as often the less the better when it comes to live gigs, but the demands there for us so we’ll be playing Ashington and Stockton and Whitby in addition to our Sage gig and some festival appearances.
So you’re excited to get the new album on the road?
We can’t wait. We’re arranging some more shows for later in the year so with the new album and the tour we’re really excited.
Details about the tour, and new album, can be found at https://smooveandturrell.com/