Vancouver-based Five Alarm Funk is seven men strong and over 15 years deep into a career that has seen it release six acclaimed albums and burn up stages on four continents. They will be playing Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre on March 12, 2020. Photo contributed

Five Alarm Funk bring their funk/rock party to Campbell River this March

Vancouver, B.C. has always been a musical town.

But back in the day, as far as sizzling, soulful funk, it was something of a desert … until some mysterious force drew two young cats together who would change that in a hurry.

From their first house party jams, drummer Tayo Branston and guitarist Gabe Boothroyd gathered a community of musicians who shared their love for James Brown, Tower Of Power, Tito Puente, Antibalas, Frank Zappa and other adventurous groove-driven players. They called themselves Five Alarm Funk, drew more than 300 fans to their first gig at a local place called The Fairview Pub, established a residency at Richards On Richards where upwards of 800 attendees would show up each night – to eventually embark on a 37-day, cross-continental track involving 30 shows from Vancouver to Fredericton.

Since then, they’ve expanded their lineup to include Eli Bennett on sax, Oliver Gibson on guitar, Tom Towers on congas, Carl Julig on timbales, Kent Wallace on trumpet, Jay Smith on bass, and Jens Christiansen on sax. They’ve broadened their territory to include the U.S., played as far afield as Taiwan, rocked the Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and begun releasing EPs and CDs. The most recent of these, 2017’s Sweat, explodes with fiery rhythms, punchy horns and gang-chant vocals that sum up the irresistible essence of this band.

They’re now deep into a new project that involves adding all-star guest vocals onto some of the more volatile tracks from their catalog, beginning with a Bootsy Collins appearance.

“I’ve been a Bootsy Collins fan ever since I was 15,” Branston marvels. “That track we gave him, ‘Capital City,’ is one of the funkiest things we’ve ever cut. With that experience and our back catalog, you’ll see a lot more of this from us.”

With future releases and reissues with big-time rappers and funksters on the horizon, their sights are set on bringing their magic to festivals throughout the world. More sweat, more dancing … more Five Alarm Funk.

Joining Five Alarm Funk on their Van Isle tour is Vancouver-based funk-rock group, Raincity. Fronted by female leads on saxophone and vocals, their audacious performances are loaded with engaging interplay and explosive energy. The five members of Raincity combine their eclectic influences including Amy Winehouse, Moon Hooch, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, creating a distinctive sound with infectious grooves, chameleon tones, and no regard for boundaries. Each musician is equipped with as much personality as style, leading to a dynamic live experience that is unapologetic and empowering.

Raincity first came together as a jazz trio in 2016, known then as Raincity Blue before growing to a five-piece. Throughout 2018, Raincity performed at a number of festivals including Rifflandia, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival, and with the help of FACTOR, presented at Canadian Music Week in Toronto. With the support of Creative BC and having just won The Roxy Launch Project, they recorded their self-titled EP at Warehouse Studios in November 2018 (released June 2019).

In 2019, they opened for Our Lady Peace and Bif Naked at the Surrey Canada Day mainstage and toured Vancouver Island, Interior BC, and Washington. They finished off the year by winning the Best in Vancouver competition hosted by LiveActs, releasing their first music video for “Give This Up”, and playing the Commodore Ballroom opening for Vancouver Funk legends Five Alarm Funk. Upcoming 2020 releases include a music video for “Crazy” directed by Wayne Chung and Bailey Wood and a new single called “Insomnia” recorded at Blue Light Studios.

Sponsored by the Campbell River Mirror, 99.7 2DAY FM and What’s On Digest, the Tidemark Theatre will present, Five Alarm Funk with special guest Raincity at the Tidemark Theatre on March 12. Tickets are $32 for Members and $37 for Non-Members (+applicable taxes and fees) and can be purchased at the Box Office Tuesday through Thursday between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are also available online: tidemarktheatre.com OR 287-PINK!

Live musicTidemark Theatre

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Busy day for Campbell River fire crews

Three incidents in rapid succession keep crews on their toes

New electric buses are coming to school districts. (Submitted photo)
New electric school buses will drive North Island forward

Travel on electric school buses is smoother, quieter, and healthier than traditional diesel buses

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike grounds Snowbirds plane during training in Comox

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

The Village on Third in Nanaimo won the Judges’ Choice award as top overall entry at the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Awards. (Photo submitted)
Top developments north of the Malahat honoured by Vancouver Island Real Estate Board

Nanaimo’s Village on Third takes top honour at VIREB Commercial Building Awards

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

Most Read