Five Alarm Funk is going from the desert of Burning Man to Errington after a wild summer, with a performance at War Memorial Hall on Saturday, Sept. 30. — Jack Hall

High-energy funk coming to Errington

Vancouver band Five Alarm Funk bringing new album to Island

Whether it’s a massive festival or a community show with kids running about as their parents let their hair down, Five Alarm Funk brings the energy, the passion and the hijinks.

That’s according to Tayo Branston, drummer and lead vocalist for the band, who said the audience can expect the leather, the sparkles and the sharks (stuffed, of course) to be out in full force on Saturday, Sept. 30, not to mention some infectious funk.

The Vancouver-based band, various forms of which have been performing for about 15 years, is no stranger to the Vancouver Island music scene.

It will be the group’s second time in this area, said Branston.

“We’re super excited to be back in Errington,” he said. “The last time was great, but this time is going to be even more tight, more punchy, more fun. It’s going to be a dance party.”

Five Alarm Funk has spent a gruelling but exciting spring and summer touring their new album Sweat, released in March of this year.

Considered the distillation of the band’s essence, the record combines their eclectic mix of gypsy-rock, Afro-funk, Latin, ska and punk, but refined by their years of experience.

Sweat definitely captures everything that we have loved about writing music through the last 15 years,” Branston said. “And it has taken time to hone that sound.”

Moving from straight groove funk and into Latin flavour, then adding progressive rock, Branston described their latest offering as “shearing funk — heavy on guitars, the horns just blasting the melody, short, punchy vocals and just a thumpin’ backbeat that makes people want to dance.”

The group has been pushing Sweat hard with a busy touring schedule, including playing 13 shows in 17 days in March, and continuing on into April. The band has been doing what it needs to to be successful, and it’s been tough, but also a ton of fun, Branston said.

“We always go full-throttle on the touring,” he said.

“Playing as much as possible is not only fun and exciting and what we want to do as far as being musicians, but it’s also a necessity to keep the business running.”

Helped along by long drives in their La-Z-Boy-seated shuttle bus, the group has nonetheless been able to put on their high-energy shows, filled with strange costumes and the occasional shark.

And it’s been paying off, said Branston, with great reactions from audiences and the band gaining momentum with what he called the best record they’ve ever made.

He said local audiences can expect “a super, high-powered funk extravaganza,” on Sept. 30, with the performance starting at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the show are $30 and can be purchased at Cranky Dog in Parksville and the Errington Store.

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