Mucked Up Funkies band from Buxton, North Walsham and Norwich, win slot at Reepham Festival
Its name is as edgy and creative as its sound - and now a rising young north Norfolk band hopes to reach an even wider audience, performing on the same stage as ex-Simple Minds stars at a summer festival.
Mucked Up Funkies (Muf), whose members write much of their own material, has earned itself a prime slot at August's Reepham Festival after beating five other contenders to win this month's Cawston Battle of the Bands contest.
Muf members range in age from 15-21 and include brother and sister Luis and Jazz Blake. of Townsend, Buxton, who formed the funk-rock band with drummer and neighbour Liam Ramsker, 17, in 2009 because 'we wanted to do something quite groovy and funk-based', according to guitarist/singer Luis, 18.
Their influences include Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Jamiroquai, Frank Zappa, the Beatles, Herbie Hancock 'and anyone who grooves'.
The trio were joined by Alex Tebble, 18, of Mundesley Road, North Walsham, in 2010 and the Cawston line-up was completed by bass player Leo Tsang, 21, a student at City College, who lives in Norwich.
Luis said: 'Some of our songs have an underlying political message and some are about our own experiences - we try to make them quite subjective so that people can take away from them what they want,'
Muf has already built up a reputation and played a number of gigs at Norwich pubs The Boundary, King Edward VII and The Brickmakers, as well as The Jolly Farmers in Swanton Abbott, and White Horse, Cromer.
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Steve Nunn, Reepham Festival music manager and one of the Cawston judges, said Muf had deserved to take the honours, and a �250 prize.
He had been impressed at their quality, stage presence, energy and originality.
The band will play on the Reepham Town Square stage on the Saturday night of the August 11-12 festival where the line-up includes Simple Minds ex-members Derek Forbes and Brian McGee, Limehouse Lizzy and Buster James.
Unlike many teenage brothers and sisters, Luis said he and Jazz, 15, who plays keyboard, synthesiser and sings, got on well together - most of the time.
'We tend to have a high level of understanding - just communicating by looking at each other,' said Luis.'
The siblings' parents, Andy and Tanya Blake, are also heavily involved in Muf, which Mr Blake manages.
'They all work incredibly hard, rehearsing and often playing for charity. It takes a tremendous amount of their time and energy and it is hard for them all to balance music lessons, band rehearsals, gigs, college/school, exams and also have a social life. They have very little money as they can't really manage a job too, so they make great sacrifices,' said Mrs Blake.
'It is quite an expensive and time-consuming business supporting them but we do our best as we totally believe in them and are inspired by their total dedication and the fantastic songs they write.'
? Mucked Up Funkies' next gig is Thursday July 19 at The Brickmakers, Sprowston Road, Norwich.