The New Mastersounds are one of those bands you need to experience live to fully appreciate. This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to get funky with NMS for their third, and supposedly final, consecutive show at Brooklyn Bowl; during the second set they enthusiastically announced that they would be adding on another show Monday night. This got the crowd revved up and going strong till the end.
But not much encouragement was needed—everyone was wildly energetic from the first notes, feeding off the band’s energy and good vibes. The crowd at a NMS show is comparable to that of a Phish show—big smiles all around, not a soul standing still, and everyone clearly there to just let loose and have fun. But the most fun of all was had by the band members themselves. You could see it in their childish grins and feel it in the way they played with such overwhelming passion. They were so happy to be there and the energy didn’t fade for a second.
What was so interesting to me was just how much their sound resembled that of New Orleans. I was aware that they had long been heavily influenced by NOLA funk and have played at Jazz Fest and smaller venues down there for years, but couldn’t quite understand just how much a band born and bred in Leeds, England could resemble that jazzy, groovy funk that is so characteristic of NOLA, my home for the last four years. I was so intrigued by this, in fact, that a friend suggested I watch the documentary “Coals to Newcastle: The New Mastersounds, From Leeds to New Orleans.” Anyone who is interested in or familiar with NOLA music culture should definitely check this out.
If you have the chance, I highly recommend checking out The New Mastersounds’ intriguing blend of groovy, New Orleans-y funk and British rock ‘n’ roll that will have you feeling good all over. It’s a sound and a vibe that is totally unique to this band and must be experienced live for the full effect.