His Merry Men
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His Merry Men

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band R&B Soul




"Spotlight: His Merry Men"

don’t usually like funk or that popular swing type jazz stuff. For instance, I find The Cat Empire are vomit-inducing. However, local group His Merry Men seem an enticing prospect.

I randomly stumbled into Rics on Friday evening, drunk, and ill suited for music appreciation (I blame my Irish cousin for my state of mind). His Merry Men started to play, and by gosh, they were a lot of fun.

Composed of percussion, bass, guitar, keys, and not one but THREE sax players. Vocalist Megan Crocombe has that sultry voice that’s well suited to the funk aesthetic and I really enjoyed the little jigs that sax players would bust out, the enjoyment heightened by my level of inebriation.

A few songs were particularly well done, such as ‘Bobby Got’ and ‘Been Around’, both which you can hear on Myspace and TripleJ Unearthered. Though their recordings do sound a bit generic (in the sense that I find many jazz/funk numbers to all sound very similar, but my knowledge of this genre is fairly limited), but as a live band, I think they’re great. - Collapse Board

"His Merry Men, Bobby Got- Been Around by Lorenzo Wolff"

There's something reassuring about hearing a particular genre performed very well. It's comforting when smooth transitions and tight arrangements all fit into an immediately recognizable shape. One verse into His Merry Men's new single "Bobby Got," it's already apparent that they're all great players. It's obvious that they love the more intellectual revival soul singers of the 90s like Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu and have sculpted their soud around this general pattern. Steve Fischer's pumping, shuffling drum grooves gently shadowbox with Bj Perry's bass parts like two sparring boxers. Lachlan Bell adds spice with tight rhythm guitar parts while Megan Crocombe's voice gracefully dips and dives more like a jazz singer than a traditional R&B vocalist.

But this solid grooving single doesn't feel quite as energetic or focused as the B Side "Been Around". "Been Around" is a departure in that it's much less tasteful in the best way possible. Crocombe adds a bit of grit to her voice and Fischer really lets the backbeat hit hard, propelling the beat forward to bridge where a loose ride pattern mellows out the groove. Crocombe croons gracefully over the top until the final couple bars where she opens up and lets her voice out a bit to sing "We've got amps and kits and horns and we ain't going nowhere". It's a great moment mostly because you can feel them taking a step away from the Jackson Five and moving closer to the MC5.

There are only two problems with this Brisbane-based group's approach. First, they've inherited a sound that’s been done many times before. You can hear their influences a bit too clearly and more often than not they seem to be harkening back to a time that has already come and gone. Much as we'd like for Aretha to be 19 again, fitting a sound into her formula would be like her trying to fit into her old dresses. Second, being so good at a single genre doesn't mean that you need to limit yourself. In trying to stay true to a certain sound, His Merry Men have limited their vocabulary in a way that is holding their music back from being as good as it could be.

Overall, this is a single that is definitely worth the vinyl it ought to have been pressed on. While His Merry Men don’t reach for originality, they do what they do very well and they never promise anything they don't deliver.

Review by Lorenzo Wolff
Rating: 3 Stars (out of 5)
- Review You

"His Merry Men, Bobby Got - Been Around by Jason Randall Smith"

Hailing from Australia, His Merry Men is one of the best indicators that those Down Under know how to get down. Although they’ve only been playing together for about a year, this is a funk band with tight musicianship and skilled soloists, topped off with the commanding vocals of Megan Crocombe. The tone of her voice evokes images of a jazz cabaret lounge and is somewhat theatrical in delivery, making her stint as lead singer an intriguing choice. Crocombe proves to be an ideal fit, penning the lyrics for both tunes on His Merry Men’s latest single.

“Bobby Got” is a soulful song dressed up in a ‘60s pop tuxedo, chock full of memorable melodies and punchy intonations from the Hell Yeah Horns. BJ Perry’s infectious bass line supplies a steady foundation for the rest of the band to build upon. As Megan sings of the various ways that Bobby gets over while Baby struggles to keep from going under, the script is properly flipped by the third verse (“Bobby got welfare, Baby got health care…”).

The band picks up the pace on “Been Around,” a superior B-side selection. Ms. Crocombe is in top form on this song, conveying style and a certain feistiness with each note. During a dramatic breakdown in the song, the buildup stars with the saxophone, then vocals, then keys and the remainder of the horn section. Once the band comes back full force, the song has transformed itself to a Latin rock tune and guitarist Lachlan Bell channels Carlos Santana through a searing guitar solo. The extended version adds just enough time to show what happens when the band becomes unbridled, concluding the song in chaotic fashion with each instrumental element collapsing in a pile on top of each other.

It is only a matter of time before His Merry Men earn comparisons to another great Australian soul/funk band, The Bamboos. Fans of music from labels like Dap-Tone or Truth and Soul will find plenty to love about this group. When it comes to funk, know that His Merry Men is the real deal.

Review by Jason Randall Smith
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)
- Review You

"Emergenza: Uncovering local Brisbane talent"

His Merry Men changed that. One of the last acts of the Wednesday round, their unique style was a potent fusion of funk, reggae, and Latin, combined with suave outfits and great energy, His Merry Men wowed the crowd. No encouragement from the band was needed to get punters up the front grooving. - News Unlimited


Bobby Got Single - September 2010
Super Secret Spies Single - November 2011
OP Single - March 2012
Kind Of Loud Album - June 2012



Born of Funk and Soul, His Merry Men are too hot to be contained by just one genre. The band contemporise a classic, ol'school sound with influences from Surf Rock, Neo-Soul and Hip Hop. Regardless of genre, His Merry Men bring a fat, 10-piece sound and dance party attitude to every gig. They sport suave outfits, face melting dance moves and a dynamite 5-piece horn section, the 'Hell Yeah Horns'.
Formed in late 2009, His Merry Men have played a multitude of gigs around Brisbane and Australia's East Coast averaging approximately 50 shows a year. Venues and events they've played are The Zoo, The HiFi (Brisbane), Live It Up Music Festival, Caloundra Music Festival, Snowy Mountains of Music Festival and Island Vibe Festival. They’ve recently toured their debut album Kind of Loud up and down the East coast with radio play on numerous community radio stations, ABC radio and Triple J.