The Dictionary Of Soul & Funk is very much a work in progress and the latest entry is Sydney based nine piece, The Hipstones. Fronted by Mark Palmer (organ/wurly/vocals) and Anthea White (lead vocals), the duo formed their unique partnership in a high rise in the centre of Tokyo, Japan.
Their debut album, Something’s Gonna Start is an eclectic and instantly engaging mix of new school funk, soul and jazz, with some heavy blues and the occasional rock-out moment. It features an almost entirely original set of songs and some outstanding string and horn arrangements from Australia’s funk’n’soul guru, Jackie Orszaczky. There’s also a guest appearance from Australia’s internationally renowned oud player, Joseph Tawadros.
Both on stage and on disc the band delivers a big, warm sound that only comes through an exceptional nine piece lineup of lead vocals, keys, drums, bass, guitar, horn section and backing vocals. Rather than rely on recycling well worn standards they have developed a complete songbook of orginal songs, ranging from soulful moody ballads to fiery dancefloor shakers.
In just a short space of time The Hipstones have made a big impression on the local scene, performing at the 3rd Annual Sydney Funk & Soul Festival and sharing the stage with Renee Geyer and Jackie Orszaczky’s Budget Orchestra at a sensational show in The Studio at The Sydney Opera House. Sydney’s Opera Bar, were quoted describing The Hipstones as “Sydney’s newest soul sensation”. Their numerous performances on the top rating Kerri-Anne Morning show were so well received that they were asked to be the first ever “House Band” on the show.
On the International scene, The Hipstones will be playing their first full band (8 piece) tour, in Indonesia. The 7 shows will see them playing one of Asia’s largest festival’s, The Java Jazz Festival (Chaka Khan, Jamie Callum, Frank McComb, Ron Cater, John Schofield), as well as the Hard Rock Café (Jakarta and Bali.
Lost in Translation! – Anthea Recalls
“We began writing whilst living and working in Tokyo on a six month contract at the Tokyo Hilton – very reminiscent of "Lost in Translation", since Mark and I got together there as well. Before we recorded the album we surrounded ourselves in old school soul and funk music. It was that warm and rich sound quality that really impressed us, so we decided to record, mix and master from tape. We chose Big Jesus Burger because they have all the old school mics and that great vintage vibe. The band was all recorded live and the vocals done separately. At one stage we had about ten vocalists together in the room, singing the choir-like backing vocals.”