I recently took on the contract to book the bands at the Hamilton Bulldogs game that perform before each game and during intermission. They were pretty specific about what they wanted, essentially “rock and roll to appeal to steel town Hamiltonians”, so with that, that is exactly the type of bands that I booked. But for the game on February 27th, I had the original band drop out and I was contacted by a jazzy outfit from Toronto called Turbo Street Funk.
I checked out their web site, listened to a couple of songs and was impressed with what I heard and the way in which the crowd responded to them. So I booked them. A few days before the game, my contact with the Bulldogs rightfully expressed a little bit of concern with them being too jazzy for a Hamilton crowd. I went into a little bit of panic mode, contacted the band’s agent and had them remove a couple of the funkier, less unknown tunes. We went a little back and forth and the agent reassured me that they would win over the crowd. I was also a little nervous that they performed mainly instrumentals.
A little bit hesitant, I remember why I booked these guys and took solace in my original gut instinct, the same instinct that brought me out to see more than 1000 live bands in my career in this business.
From the first note onward, this band won the crowd over. Out of all of the bands that I have booked for the Hamilton Bulldogs, none have ever had a more appreciative and attentive crowd than these boys. CD’s were flying off of the merch table and people were clapping and whistling throughout the performance. I actually had people asking me to bring these guys back after only the first couple tunes.
Why such praise? In addition to the energetic performance and constant audience engagement (a lost art one hardly ever sees these days), Turbo Street Funk performed jazzed up, Dixie-land performances worthy of N’Awlins Mardi Gras, covering such songs as:
- Sir Duke & Superstition
- Eye of the Tiger and the Rocky Theme (Gonna Fly Now)
- A Top 40 Radio Medley
- Smells Like Teen Spirit, Pumped up Kicks & Lonely Boy
- Oh When the Saints
- Billie Jean, Ghost Busters and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air Theme
If you are a fan of live music or considering booking this incredibly talented group of young men, please do yourself a favour, DO IT, you will be richer for having done so.