Having only been together just over two years, genre-bending groovers, The Steele Syndicate, are already one of Brisbane’s best musical exports.
Led by front man Steele McMahon, this old school funk, reggae, ska and indie-rock octet, have played the Sydney Opera House, along with a string of festivals, and are currently wrapping up an East Coast tour for new single Funky Trombone ahead of the release of their sophomore EP.
Describing themselves as a “live band,” trumpet player Lachlan Glaves says their style of sound is heavily influenced by the type venues they play.
“At the moment our focus is mostly on live performance and success in that field is when you can get people to move. We play gigs at pubs and live music venues where people like to dance and have fun, so we’ve wound up with a catalogue of groovy tunes people can dance to,” said Lachlan.
“As such, having people come up to us after a show and saying ‘wow, that was a lot of fun’ is really rewarding. If we were playing to an empty room we’d just be practicing.”
Initially starting as a four-piece, before doubling the line-up to include a horn section, much of the song-writing still remains with lead singer Steele, who draws inspiration from big brass bands, early funk and folk vocal stylings. While Funky Trombone signals the band’s evolved, energetic sound, Steele says it’s his earliest influences that still shape his current song-writing efforts, including the tracks on the band’s forthcoming EP.
“I began writing music when I had a guitar in hand and dreamed of being a beachside songwriter. I now have 7 other artists to build upon what I create but I still stick to the raw melodies and vocal styling of my earliest influences when I form the foundation of a new song. The upcoming record is a combination of those two vibes, but it’s definitely more upbeat and grittier than our first EP Antipodes,” said Steele.
Known for fun and a few tongue-in-cheek tour mishaps (think, losing band members and finding them just before a gig), you know you’re in for a funky night when The Steele Syndicate are in town, and for Brisbanites, that’s this Saturday night (10 March).
“We’ll be playing all your favourite songs, a few new ones we’ve been jamming along the road and mixing in a few stories. It’s going to be twice as funky, and twice as trombone!”