Every day of the week is a party according to Melbourne band The Seven Ups.
One humble Thursday night in Brunswick’s B.EAST welcomes the sultry sounds of unkempt horns coupled with a sizzling rhythm section. This instrumental 7-piece band have impeccable style, drawing strong influences from 1970’s Nigerian Afrobeat calibrated with street funk. Lacking a front man, the band are have no struggle to entrance audiences.
“It’s hard to get gigs at some venues without a front man however, we’re still able to get those gigs. Every band member has their own personality and unique character- we sing through our instruments“ claims percussionist Michael Sacks.
In fact, the band’s electric stage performances have impressed the likes of Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, Babylon Circus and The Bamboos. We talked with Michael Sacks about the experience.
“We got to hang out with Charles, such a lovely dude. He would absolutely cark it and collapse backstage but once he got out on stage, he would come out with full power. Definitely a highlight in our career.
The Budos Band are so loose, they’d drink slabs of beer and smoke ounces of weed. Then get on stage and play flawlessly. Like how is this possible?”
Originally housemates who started jamming in a share house, The Seven Ups have maintained their playful and carefree demeanour. Sacks shares a warm hearted story from where it all started.
“When someone goes to get their basking license, they have to go to a government office to determine whether they’re applicable to busk or not - and at that office they show a video of 'what not to do when busking' - It’s a video of us with people drinking and partying all along the streets. Were a prime example, of what not to do.”
Currently in the production works of album number 3, The Seven Upsare working towards an experimental sound, still faithful to their Afrobeat Nigerian roots.
Trent Sterling, the founding member of the band who first listened to Fela Kuti was hooked and later on decided to put a spin on the genre and started what is now The Seven Ups. We talked with Trent on their development.
“Every time we record an album, it tightens the direction of our style. At the end of the day, were not trying to play Afrobeat, were trying to play what feels right as a band.”
The OOMPH! team are on the edge of our seats, what magic will The Seven Ups concoct this time?