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Monday, May 21 2012 | 11:53 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

The BamboosBandleader Lance Ferguson and his nine piece Melbourne outfit The Bamboos have come a long way since forming in 2001. Initially inspired by the instrumental raw funk of the late ’60s and early ’70s, they made waves internationally and were quickly labelled as one of the greatest funk and soul bands of our time. But while many would be happy to simply soak up the praise and keep on keeping on, The Bamboos have proven that they are more than meets the eye; over four acclaimed albums, their evolution in sound and style has consistently confounded and exceeded expectations, pulling the rug from under the feet of those who like to pigeonhole.

With their fifth long-player “Medicine Man”, released in June 2012, they are about to unveil another revelatory, forward-looking record brimming with fresh ideas, stellar turns, classic songwriting and a brand of multi-layered pop they can truly call their own. Guest vocalists are Aloe Blacc, Tim Rogers (You Am I), Megan Washington, Daniel Merriweather and Bobby Flynn. The powerhouse singer and regular band member Kylie Auldist contributes four songs, while Melbourne based Ella Thompson adds a new facet to the band’s sound with her performance on two tracks.

The band signed to respected Brighton (UK) indie label Tru Thoughts in 2005, where they remain a cornerstone of the roster. Across their four studio albums to date – “Step It Up” (2006), “Rawville” (2007), “Side-Stepper” (2008) and “4” (2010) – the metamorphosis of The Bamboos has been full of twists and turns, and it continues apace. A seasoned DJ, solo producer (aka Lanu) and all-round insatiable music obsessive, Ferguson’s myriad influences and passion for pushing things forward ensure that each new release is a discovery for devout fans and newcomers alike.

The Bamboos’ ridiculously enjoyable live shows have seen them perform at festivals including Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, Meredith Music Festival, Falls Festival, The West Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Golden Plains, Parklife, Pyramid Rock, The Port Fairy Folk Festival, Days Like This, The Adelaide Festival, The Caloundra Music Festival, The Sydney Festival and Trop Fest.

In Feb 2010 The Bamboos played the prestigious headline set at The St Kilda Festival to over 7000 people. The Bamboos have toured Europe and the U.K three times performing sell-out shows at esteemed venues including The Barbican & The Jazz Cafe in London and in countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland. As the go-to band for tight and heavy vibes, they have also performed as the backing band for international artists including Eddie Bo (US), Syl Johnson (US), Joe Bataan (US), Eddie Floyd (US), Betty Harris (US) and Alice Russell (UK).

The Bamboos were included in the Melbourne Age’s prestigious ‘Top 100’ list of influential people in Melbourne city for 2008, and also voted Australia’s fourth best band in a poll by the same paper, just after AC/DC and ahead of well-known acts like Jet and Empire Of The Sun. While rising through the playlists on mainstream national radio stations in Australia, the UK, France, the US, Japan and beyond, The Bamboos have always held their appeal with the underground, gaining props from the likes of John Kennedy (XFM), Gilles Peterson (BBC R1) and Don Letts (BBC 6Music). The unshakable charm of their songs has seen them licensed to hit movies including Crazy Stupid Love, and TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy (US), One Tree Hill (US), Ugly Betty (US) and Underbelly (AUS).

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