“They've got IT..." - Eddie Bo (New Orleans R&B legend)
"They are about as good as it gets... " - Mark Lamarr BBC Radio 2 (U.K)
"The Bamboos are bad mother-****ers!" - Syl Johnson (Chicago Soul Legend)
“Impressive...stands out a mile” – Independent On Sunday (U.K)
"Lance Ferguson is a man of many talents..." GQ Magazine (AUS)
“Nothing prepared me for just how fresh and vibrant the music of The Bamboos is” – Notion Magazine (U.K)
Bandleader Lance Ferguson and his nine piece Melbourne outfit The Bamboos have come a long way since forming in 2001. Initially inspired by the instrumental raw funk of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, they made waves internationally and were quickly labelled as one of the greatest funk and soul bands of our time. But while many would be happy to simply soak up the praise and keep on keeping on, The Bamboos have proven that they are more than meets the eye; over five acclaimed albums, their evolution in sound and style has consistently confounded and exceeded expectations, pulling the rug from under the feet of those who like to pigeonhole.
The band signed to respected Brighton (UK) indie label Tru Thoughts in 2005, where they remain a cornerstone of the roster. Across their five studio albums to date - ‘Step It Up’ (2006), ‘Rawville’ (2007), ‘Side-Stepper’ (2008), ‘4’ (2010) and 'Medicine Man' (2012) – the metamorphosis of The Bamboos has been full of twists and turns, and it continues apace. A seasoned DJ, solo producer (aka Lanu) and all-round insatiable music obsessive, Ferguson's myriad influences and passion for pushing things forward ensure that each new release is a discovery for devout fans and newcomers alike.
Their fifth long-player ‘Medicine Man’, released in June 2012 was a watershed - a forward-looking record brimming with fresh ideas, stellar turns, classic songwriting and a brand of multi–layered pop they can truly call their own. Guest vocalists Aloe Blacc, Tim Rogers (You Am I), Megan Washington, Daniel Merriweather, Bobby Flynn, alongside resident singers Kylie Auldist and then newcomer Ella Thompson helped make the album their biggest at home to date. Lead single "I Got Burned" feat. Rogers was a sizeable radio hit, made it to #54 on radio station Triple J's Hottest 100 listeners poll (the biggest publicly voted song poll in the world) of the top songs of that year.
Like its predecessor, the band's sixth album 'Fever In The Road' was co-produced by ARIA- nominated, multi-instrumentalist studio wizard John Castle – whose work with the likes of Washington, Josh Pyke, Gossling, Pez and Kate Miller-Heidke has ranked him amongst the first-call producers in Australia. The new record (the first on Ferguson's own Pacific Theatre label) sees Castle and Ferguson venturing into sonic landscapes The Bamboos have previously touched on but never fully inhabited. There is a sense that the music is leaner and more muscular, yet upon closer inspection the tracks reveal themselves to be densely multi-layered in a 'Wall Of Sound' style. And it's this aural complexity and depth that allows darker moods to roam through the album, taking their sound to a new place. The songs career from the wondrously anthemic ('Avenger', The Truth', 'Rats', 'Jump My Train'), to the dreamy and psychedelic ('Looking West', 'Harbinger') and the darkly fragile ('Killing Jar', 'Before I Go'). Choosing this album to reflect the band as it is on stage, the vocals are split between Kylie Auldist and Ella Thompson. And each bring contrasting styles that complement each other magically, but show The Bamboos to be utterly unique.
The Bamboos’ ridiculously enjoyable live shows have seen them perform at pretty much every major festival in the country, including Byron Bay Blues & Roots Festival, Meredith Music Festival, Falls Festival, The West Coast Blues & Roots Festival, Golden Plains, Parklife, Pyramid Rock, The Port Fairy Folk Festival, Days Like This, The Adelaide Festival, The Caloundra Music Festival, The Sydney Festival, Homebake, Splendour In The Grass and Trop Fest. In Feb 2010 The Bamboos played the prestigious headline set at The St Kilda Festival to over 7000 people.
The Bamboos have toured Europe and the U.K three times performing sell-out shows at esteemed venues including The Barbican & The Jazz Cafe in London and in countries including France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Belgium, Switzerland and Ireland.
As the go-to band for tight and heavy vibes, they have also performed as the backing band for international artists including Eddie Bo (US), Syl Johnson (US), Joe Bataan (US), Eddie Floyd (US), Betty Harris (US) and Alice Russell (UK).
Their songs have been regularly on playlists of national radio stations in Australia, the UK, France, the US, Japan and beyond. The unshakable charm of their songs has also seen them licensed to hit movies including Crazy Stupid Love, the soon to be released Adore - Naomi Watts & Robin Wright. and TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, CSI New York, One Tree Hill, Ugly Betty and Australian shows such as Underbelly, House Husbands, Offspring, Packed To The Rafters.
Reviews for ‘The Rules Of Attraction’ with Tim Rogers
THE HERALD SUN "Lance Ferguson does a mean Benjamin Button, he’s sounding younger and more potent with every record.”
ROLLING STONE "The band that can lay claim to being Melbourne's Dap-Kings. 4.5/5"
THE AUSTRALIAN "The Bamboos are tough to fault”
THE AGE "One of the qualities that has made Melbourne's the Bamboos one of our finest funk/soul outfits has been their willingness to step outside the genre's increasingly popular expectations.”
DOUBLE J RADIO (FEATURE ALBUM) "The Bamboos are faultless. Every beat, every note and every backing vocal is perfectly played and placed.”
BEAT "4/5. The Rules of Attraction has such a great energy and contains so many catchy tunes that it should be made compulsory listening at the start of everyone’s working week. It’ll make you smile more than a 20-day yoga intensive.”
THE BRAG (ALBUM OF THE WEEK) "4/5. The Rules Of Attraction is upbeat and joyous, showing some Australian musical darlings simply plugging in and having a ball...It’s tight, a little cheeky and dapper as hell.”
Reviews for 'Fever In The Road'
ROLLING STONE “One mans vision of Soul music's evolving potential”
ALLMUSIC “Though there is less production sheen here, great songs and energetic, truly inspired performances make them sound bigger and badder than ever. 4/5”
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD “This is the sound of The Bamboos being comfortable in their own skins...”
Reviews for Medicine Man
HERALD SUN 4 stars“Bandleader Lance Ferguson's crafty song-crafting shows an innate ability to extract winsome vocal performances from all his guests. Album opener I Never featuring Daniel Merriweather picks up where Mark Ronson left off, Washington's star turns on Eliza and Wilhelm Scream (yes, that one!) sees the diminutive dame delightfully dreary, Bobby Flynn shows off his chops on Midnight and the whole band are in telepathic form throughout. Sounds like: The blue(s) train, stopping all stations. In a word: tight”
RADAR “Combining brassy blasts, funky keys and a revolving door of guest vocalists too long to list here, the soul-funk eight-piece posse have earned a fierce reputation for themselves.”
TRIPLE J MAG “The fifth offering from these local funksters hits all the right spots even turning James Blake’s “The Wilhem Scream” into a super soulful number. Amazing.”
BEAT “Medicine Man crackles, pops and fizzes. The mellow vibe on the neo-soul and pop tracks allows you to rest your tush (sometimes unwillingly) before the grinding funk gets you back up and swinging your thing.”
TONE DEAF “With complex and interesting pop songs, the album is a consistently fulfilling experience and one record that should not be ignored.”
RAVE MAGAZINE “Medicine Man is a flawless record that sees the band moving away from their traditional approach of making primarily instrumental albums with a few vocal tracks, to producing an entirely vocal album with a staggeringly talented cast.”
PURPLE SNEAKERS “Medicine Man is a genuinely good album which is too hard to ignore. It will warm your soul and make you dance – really, really dance”
DRUM MEDIA “This is an album very much of the zeitgeist”
THE AGE - MELBOURNE MAGAZINE “The Bamboos is the highest, tightest and easily the best live band of their kind in the country. The album is massive, unparalleled and gorgeous to listen to”
Mx Four Stars”Quite extraordinary”