Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Troppo Funk announce final concert

Troppo Funk in Lerwick Town Hall during this year's jazz festival - Photo: Chris Brown

LOCAL super band Troppo Funk are preparing for their farewell gig on Friday (16 August) due to the departure of two of its members.

The concert will be played at the Lerwick British Legion from 8.30pm with support from DJ Lyall Halcrow, meaning the audience is in for an unbelievably funky night.

Troppo, who have been setting the music scene alight with their infectious grooves, are losing keyboardist Max Tyler and bassist Hayden Hook to Edinburgh University and the Conservatorium Van Amsterdam respectively.

The band – completed by saxophonist Norman Willmore, guitarist Joe Watt and drummer Lewis Murray – will remain in Shetland, but whether they will play again in the full original line up is uncertain.

Tyler will be studying a joint Honours degree in physics and music while Hook is taking a course in jazz bass.

Local stalwarts of the music scene Stevie Hook and Dave Hammond were enthusiastic about what Troppo Funk have done in their time.

“Troppo Funk are probably the most exciting band of musicians to come out of Shetland in the last ten years,” said Hook.

Hammond added: “Combine youthful rhythm with verve and drive and you’ve got Troppo Funk.”

In the two years of Troppo’s existence, they gigged like there was no tomorrow and their strength there was clear. On stage, the band had such an understanding of each other they became the closest thing possible to a hive mind.

This knowledge of playing styles let them do what they do best: funk and funk hard. As a unit, they know when to build up the atmosphere and when to drop it back to leave the crowd wanting.

It’s hard to pinpoint where this fundamental sense the band has originates from, but you can guess at it being their close friendship and experience of playing in a plethora of different bands, such as Maskarade, First Foot Soldiers, Muddy Bay and the Deep Sea Rollers, Mareel’s Sunday Jazz and Wind-Up Projectiles, to name a few.

A personal fond memory of Troppo Funk was them coming out at the Wind-Up Projectiles EP launch, where Hayden said to the crowd:

“I was saying to the boys before we came out: let’s keep this fat and clean. We don’t do no skunk funk. Fat and clean, boys.”

Albeit odd sounding out of context, this gave them a platform to roar into their Mareel set with a clear sense of genuine enjoyment and passion. This clearly wasn’t just a job for them – it was for their own buzz too.

In a musically passionate island, Troppo Funk could put their hands up as one of the top live bands on the scene and will be a sore miss.

The band members have all studied or will study the HNC Music course at Mareel and are keen to make known the benefits of the course and venue.

Friday’s gig is for over 18s only. Tickets on the door, priced £7.

Iwan MacBride

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021