Not much escapes the locals in this particular north east London town, “they really look at you!”. Their eclectic gazes cross the street and fall on any number of jaded old soaks, Tinder junkies on dead-end dates, real-life junkies and lonely transsexuals, to name but a few.But recently there’s been some rustling and lighting of blue touch paper, as long-time resident, guitarist/songwriter and observer, Mark Arévalo, has painted these characters into the funk and soul/retro-pop canvas that is West on Sunset.
Formed at the tail-end of 2017, the band has wasted no time in establishing themselves as modern funk traditionalists. Taking their cues and inspiration from the 70s raw power, with not a computer or beats machine in sight, real instruments, real passion! “I just connect with an era when musicians played with feel and heart, the music moved you, it had depth and soul… of course, there was some rubbish around too haha” says Arévalo.
After writing and recording his first few songs, it was time to bring the band together via a series of auditions at The Joint Studios in Kings Cross. “It was quite a challenge to find young players and singers who were into people like; James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Chic, Steely Dan, Prince, Marvin Gaye, etc, in many cases it came from their parents, playing the music in the house as they were growing up”. So, after an exhausting series of all-day auditions and nearly 130 musicians later, West on Sunset was born.
The main line-up is: Samuel Ajitena – Vocals, Sam Saad – Vocals, Mark Arevalo – Guitar, Diego Sampieri – Guitar, Marcos Edo – Bass, Noemi La Barbera – Drums, Ray Lakhan – Percussion. A funky melting pot fromBarbados, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Italy, Spain and England.
Within ten weeks, the band starting gigging and a week later their diary for early 2018 was full, with promoters loving the sound of the crafted, melodic songs and their tight live energy. The band was promoted almost straightaway to be the headline act for their March gigs in London and are currently in discussion with management companies to take their music to wider audiences. They have recently caught the ear of Incognito keyboardist and musical director, Matthew Cooper and the band are very excited to be working with him, recording and producing their music, with singles from the sessions being released each month from this Spring.
And what of the music? The stories? Funk/disco crowd pleaser ‘Boy What a Lady’ features a desk mole hitting the dancefloor to perhaps fulfilling his dream of having a girlfriend. His oriental penchant drawing his attention to a tall and beguiling nymphet on the dance floor. He snakes his way towards her, only to find out that things are not quite what they seem (the clue’s in the title). But it’s too late, he’s hooked.
A nod to Hip Hop/R&B and soulful piano, ‘Killed a Man’ recounts a singular re-birth of masculinity. A house-drudge whose balls were locked in the sock drawer for two decades is released and starts building a new life, that features testosterone this time. He’s ‘killed’ off the old him and unlocked the drawer.
The driving funk bass and Wurlitzer intro of ‘Tonight Will Be’ brings us to a dating disciple, desperate to find ‘Mr Right’. She goes through the same, tired ritual, preening at the dressing table and heading out to the singles bar…again, hoping upon hope that “the night will be her friend” this time.
And the band? Well, they’ll soon be bringing their music to the masses for sure. It’s very different to the mainstream they’ve been told politely, but some powerful grooves and infectious riffs are looming on the horizon and the Sunset is riding high, as the new Bandidos of Funk, Soul and Retro-Pop. Catch them soon!
More Details: www.westonsunset.net