Had the terrible misfortune to have been stuck in a room for the last five days where there appeared to be a law of some kind that dictated that the only station to be transmitted was BBC Radio One. Yes, I was aware that the ratio of stone-cold classics versus click-track, auto-tuned drone was likely to be a tad uneven, but it really has been Hellish.
Regardless of taste, there has been a common link to the vast majority of tracks played - a staggering lack of actual musical instruments. Even keyboards were programmed to repeat the most basic of lines, whilst the notion of a bassist, guitarist, keyboard player or drummer seemed even perverse to raise as a suggestion.Even then, this could be excused but what was undeniably missing was a human element: a heart; a soul.
It’s unlikely many of you have heard of Crack of Dawn...unless you’re Canadian. In the late 70's, Crack of Dawn were Canada’s Earth, Wind and Fire - more-so, outselling them comfortably with their equally deft funk and soul, though with less emphasis on outrageous garments. Despite the frills and thrills, every single band member (as per all funk outfits, there seemed to be zillions of them) played their own instrument - not for show but because they were crazily good. Founder Carl Harvey has spent the last 35+ years spending his day job as Toots and the Maytals lead guitarist. This would require a leap of faith to suppose one of Clean Bandit could confidently join Radiohead.
Crack of Dawn of dusted off their boots to bring out a quasi-retrospective which is well worthy of your time. Featuring some of their original 1976 classics, re-recorded alongside more recently written material, it’s notable that you wouldn’t be able to guess which were which. Old members combine with new to deliver soul/funk/jazz/lounge loveliness, all of which is all the more comforting in the knowledge that every member played their part and put a piece of themselves into every note.