Blues, funk and soul all in the name of funKtus

ORIGINAL COVER BAND: Newcastle's funKtus put their own twist on well worn classics.
ORIGINAL COVER BAND: Newcastle's funKtus put their own twist on well worn classics.

Newcastle-based outfit funKtus describe their sound as “drunk and sexy”. 

The five piece, featuring some well  seasoned local musos, formed in 2014 and have been playing “weddings, bah mitzvahs” and anything else that comes their way ever since. 

The band plays what they call “original covers”.

In the hands of funKtus a well worn tune will be deconstructed and reconstructed with the band’s own vibe. 

“I will just get something in my head, and it will run,” drummer John Lock said. “If three days later it’s still running I will start to wonder ‘what can I do with that?’”

“It’s basically what I call the sticking point … if it’s stuck in my head, with all the noise that goes on in there, than it’s going to be something that may work.

“One of our covers we do is Tracy Chapman’s Give Me One Reason.

I love the song and the feel of it, it’s just so soulful. But it doesn’t fit with what we are doing.

“I was in the car … and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Cold Shot came on.

“All of a sudden it went bang.” 

The funKtus version of the Chapman song blends elements from both. 

“It’s two songs we have smashed together,” he said. “It’s the words of Tracy Champan but the music of Cold Shot.”

Their version of Tainted Love becomes a grindy reggae song, while songs like Rock Steady and For the Love of Money are closer to straight up versions of the originals. 

“We do a quiet version of Is This Love, but we choose our moments to play that one,” vocalist Lydia Wardley said. 

The musicians come from diverse backgrounds, including jazz. They first got together for a jam but “just clicked”. 

“We have a bit if a blended background from different styles,” Wardley said. “We didn’t set out straight away to do funk.

“We thought about what we had all dabbled in, and it just kind of fused. Out of that came a mixture of funk, blues and soul.” 

The band has had steady work as guns for hire, but would like to play more shows for the general public.

funKtus recently hosted a funk party at The Croatian Wickham Sports Club. They now plan to roll out four funk nights a year at the club, starting in 2018.

In 2018, the band will turn its attention to writing and recording. There are already a few original songs members have written for other line-ups which they plan to bang into shape and give a funKtus feel to. 

Also on vocals is Kristine Avery, Jerome McClintock is on bass, and Peter Bates in on guitar.