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Five Alarm Funk clowning around on tour for new CD

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Talking with Vancouver based pranksters/ jazz/ funk, eccentric orchestra Five Alarm Funk makes me hungry.Five Alarm Funk returns to Lethbridge, JUne 9. Photo by Richard Amery
 Conga player, percussionist/ vocalist and quirky showman Tom Towers is excited about a lot of things, their new CD “Rock the Sky,” new music about the ice cream men and other happy childhood memories, white noise and about coming back to to Lethbridge to play the Slice, June 9, mainly because they get to order their namesake pizza — the Five Alarm Funk.

“ It is so good,” he enthused.

Five Alarm Funk live shows are vibrant, sweaty, funky blast, featuring a variety of crazy costumes, a lot of horns and a boat load of funk.
 Towers is excited about their tour, which involved shenanigans in Montreal followed by a much deserved day off to recharge.
“The tour has gone great. We’ve had great, solid crowds and an amazing crowd in Toronto,” Towers said from a rest stop en route to London, Ontario.

“ We have the new album out and people have been picking them up,” he continued.

 If you’ve seen Five Alarm Funk before, then you’ve heard the music on the new album as the new Cd features live favourites like “ the Critic” and “ Crimes of Passion.”

“A lot of bands write an album and then tour on it. But “Rock The Sky,” is  the band for the past few years. Some of the songs have been around since January, and others have been sitting around around for years,” he said, adding they wrote a lot of songs, played them live and reworked the ones that stayed with them.

“We had about 14 new songs and the best went on the record. We really concentrated on the ones that meant the most to us and  the audience and the others were slowly put on the backburner,” he said.
“It’s concentrated goodness. It wasn’t a challenge, it was an evolution,” Towers continued.
“ We like weird  song titles,” Towers said.

“Who wouldn’t want to hear an instrumental song  with  titles like ‘Wash Your Face’ and  ‘The Iron Pegasus,’ ” he said.
“Sometimes we come up with the title and write the song after it.”

They will be  adding  some new elements to their show including  new songs including one about  the ice cream man.

“And the Crimson Streak might make an appearance on stage. He’s got a full body jumpsuit and is wearing a pair of tighty whities with a very pronounced package. He’s wearing two pairs of underwear and a huge rainbow clown wig. There  are some definitely aurally and visual theatrical elements,” Towers enthused

“We actually found one (a rainbow clown wig) in an old house turned into a bar. We took it as a down payment to play a wedding. So I  guess we’re going back there,” he continued. There may even be a whoopie cushion involved in the show.

“They enjoy blending numerous different genres into their own music.
“We tend to explore many different genres and just put together the many different pieces,” he said adding  some songs cry out for vocals , others work best are instrumentals.

“Tayo (Branston) drummer and  vocalist, is quite a wordsmith,” he said.
Tickets for the show are $20. It is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 June 2012 10:18 )  
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