Gig Seeker Pro



Band R&B Funk


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"Capri live review"

Capri have been one of Leeds top bands for a number of years, and one thing’s for certain, they will still be one of the cities top bands, when the current “Everything is brilliant in Leeds” craze has come to an end. In my mind, they are THE best band to have ever come out of Leeds, and for anyone who doubts my opinion, check out their latest album, Boogie Man….it’s a classic.
The Wardrobe was celebrating its 6th birthday tonight, and what better way to do it than with a live set from Capri. I chatted with front-man Benson Walker before the show, about their latest album. Benson described it as “a labour of love” and spoke highly of all the musicians that had helped record it. Bassist, Chris, kindly donated some Capri CD’s and posters for the forthcoming Studentguru Birthday Gig. These are to be included in the charity raffle….as well as a great musician….he’s a true gentleman!
The scene was set for a great gig, by the resident DJ’s playing top 60’s and 70’s souls and funk classics. A sure-fire way to get the audience warmed up. The band took to the stage as 9 ordinary looking guys, dressed in jeans and t-shirts, but within seconds they were transformed into a full on groove machine. For those who have never experienced a Capri gig, I can only say that it is just that…an experience. With a delicious blend of up-tempo funk and 70’s cop themes, topped off with a wonderful film show to accompany the music, you just can’t help but tap your feet and clap your hands to the music. Singer, Benson Walker, then took to the stage, and the band belted out some of their classic tunes, such as “Shake It”, “Real World”, and a fantastic funk cover of Alice Cooper’s “Elected”. Benson’s a big lad, with powerful vocals to match. He’s a larger than life character, and the ideal front-man for Capri. He occasionally asked the crowd if they were up for dancing, but he needn’t have bothered, as we were already shaking our stuff on the packed dancefloor. I challenge anyone to attend a Capri gig, and NOT dance…it’s impossible. The band effortlessly went through their set, with every song a crowd-pleaser. Benson heralded “One Night” as a possible new single, and it certainly has a superior quality about it. Slightly slower (by Capri standards) to their other material, “One Night” has a nice disco/funk crossover feel. It proved to be a favourite of the large audience. We were also treated to a guest appearance by one of Leeds top female vocalists, Lara Rose, who marked her entrance with an ear piercing scream that made the PA vibrate! Such an amazing set could only be finished off by my favourite Capri number, Barbarella. This is truly an amazing song from an amazing band. I’d given up making notes for my review by this point, and was just enjoying getting down to the music. We were treated to one encore and a heartfelt thank you by Benson Walker, before the resident DJ’s took over once more.
I’ve been to a number of Capri gigs, and I must say that they just seem to get better and better. They make it all look so easy and effortless. Leeds best band…ever!!!
To quote Benson Walker, writing this review was “a labour of love”.

- Music Guru

"Boogie Man album review"

Some of the most memorable films would never have resonated without a great score. "Enter The Dragon" would not have risen above any other Bruce Lee film except for Schifrin or "Lady In Cement" but a distant memory of a failed franchise without Montenegro's frantic themes. "Shaft" without Isaac Hayes? Can you imagine! The action and 'sploitation film formula that is emulated to this day, was achieved from this marriage. Sadly it has been dumped by film for a younger, sleeker, and morbidly less interesting string of random samples via the humiliation of a corporate shotgun wedding in a disposable society. Foxy Brown wouldn't have stood for this when our very souls are on the line!

Capri charges far, far beyond the mere echo of those vintage days to the embodiment of the idealistic cinematic future where justice is served to dealers & hooligans, corrupt policy makers get their come-uppance, and at the end of the day the hero-in-charge gets down in more ways than one.

Boogie Man is a massive undertaking, spanning 4 years and over 35 musicians, each lending their special gift to paint each scene just so. Collectively Boogie Man strikes a very refined balance between sonic excess, expansive landscapes, and stripped down funk-soul. This tastes like a million bucks spent on the best producer at the top of his game, with the hottest session musicians on the scene, all under the artistic eye of a groundbreaking director that won't settle for anything less than perfection. Yet that image still seems to understate the result, for Boogie Man's universe expands with each listen, and gets more badass each time through, without an ounce of evidence that fondness will in any way diminish with time. In a word: "PERFECTION".


Earth Songs EP ( GLP001 ) 2000
Car Chase on Phoenix Avenue - vinyl single( GLP002 ) 2001
Boogie Man - vinyl single ( GLP003 )
Boogie Man - CD album - ( GLP004 )
Barbarella - digital single - ( GLP006 )



Capri biography - interviews by Don Cartwright

Originally inspired by funk/big band Soundtracks such as Bullitt, Dirty Harry, and composers such as Lalo Schifrin, Roy Budd and Quincy Jones, Capri’s Dan Woodward wanted to hear “more stuff like that”. However when Dan went out to find the original soundtracks he found they were either deleted, never available to the public, poorly recorded or worst still re-recorded by inexperienced musicians. “When I did finally get my hands on the original material, I remember being slightly disappointed. Without the images to accompany the music it felt a little flat. Except for the occasional killer groove, I think it was a case of remembering it better than it was”.

It was then Dan had the idea of forming a band that could not only play the uncompromising style of 1970’s funk big band but could also reinvigorate the music solely for the purpose of personal listening and dancing. “It was an unusual process. Me, Chris and Matthew had played together in Big bands when we were kids, so we had the founding experience we needed. Matthew and I also played in a lot of rock and soul bands so that was the other experience we needed. It was like putting the two things together. Playing in a big band requires a lot of discipline. You have to practice the parts, learn to read and make sure you don’t mess up, otherwise you have 30 musicians giving you the evil eye! In a rock band its different. Its obviously more relaxed. You turn up, play, get drunk and go home. I loved doing both”.

The bands signature funk sound didn’t come easily admits Chris Donnelly. “It involved a lot of rehearsing, demos and re-arranging to get the music to fit what it was we were trying to do. We would rehearse and rehearse until the grooves sounded right”. “We did the Cop Funk thing for a few years” Dan explains “but at that time I’d gone back to writing songs. ‘Boogie Man’ was one of the new batch. It was very much a hybrid of the two things, big band meets soul band. It had soundtrack elements to it fused with James Brown street funk. Then came ‘Barbarella’ and then I knew we had to get a singer”.

It wasn’t the most likely place to meet a great soul singer but the Peel pub in Bradford was where Matthew Windler found himself stumbling into one Tuesday night and hearing the future of Capri. “I knew Dan was serious about getting a singer, but apart from a few feeble auditioners, we hadn’t found anyone. Then, the next thing I know, I’m in the Peel seeing Ben sing for the first time. I just thought Get him! He’s the man!”. Before long Ben was singing with the band in Leeds at the fondly remembered Underground club. The club had put on some great names in Funk such as Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley (both James Brown players), Pee Wee Ellis, Donald Byrd, Azymuth and Roy Ayers ( blacksploitation soundtrack composer ) to name a few. It was also a place were the many worlds of Funk met, such as the time when Roy Ayers’ rhythm section heard ‘Car Chase on Phoenix Avenue’ over the house P.A and demanded to know who had created such an outrageously funky piece of music.

Very quickly the Underground became the capital funk/soul venue outside London. The next big club to follow was the Wardrobe which again promoted live original material. Capri were all too happy to join the roster, regularly playing there with their eleven piece band. It was around this time Capri started recording songs for their first E.P. Although the E.P. was well received by club DJs and funksters it didn’t get much support on a wider scale. “This isn’t a particularly rhythmical nation” admits Dan “all the highly rhythmical music in this country always remains underground, its so frustrating”. Chris adds “I remember us playing at a ball in Cambridge and I’ve never seen so many confused faces in all my life”. Meanwhile, another Leeds Funk band the ‘New Mastersounds’ were starting to break through with their album “Keb Darge presents the New Mastersounds” and was making people take note of the growing Funk scene in Leeds, and Funk in general.

It seemed like Capri had just finished recording their E.P. when they began work on their first album. Originally titled ‘Firebird’ their first album was going to be an eclectic mix of all the musical stages the band had gone through since their formation. “Getting hold of all the musicians we needed wasn’t a problem” reveals Chris. “There’s been a steady influx of Jazz and Soul musicians coming into Leeds since the 60’s”. Great players like Joel Purnell, Jim Corry, Dale Gibson, Omar Puente and Lara Rose had all come to Leeds via the music college….. perfect timing for a 12 track funk opus. ‘Boogie Man’ was released in 2004 and was an instant hit with critics and music aficionados. Air play has been building steadily since then, both on FM and digital radio. In May Capri joined the download revolution and are now available from all the major download sites worldwide. Capri’s next projects include