A cold blustery day shopping was made just a little warmer this past Sunday by the music of function band Flood the Floor. A five piece band, based in London, they played two sixty minute sets at Westfield. The band consist of Jay Robinson – Lead Vocals, Josh Drewe – Guitar & Backing vocals, Steve Pringle (who couldn’t be there that session) Keyboards & Backing Vocal’s Benedict Green – Bass & Backing vocals (also their manager) and Tim Nugent – Drums.
I caught the band as they were wrapping up what seems to have been a lively and all encompassing set. But that was only the beginning. Set in a somewhat cold and quiet corner of the Westfields shopping centre (it wasn’t to stay quiet for long) as lead singer and soul, funk crooner Jay Robinson, (all the vocal charisma of James Brown and Bruce Springstein, with a vocal range Prince would envy) burst into a rendition of ‘Kiss’ which soon melded into ‘play that funky music’ the curious onlookers only grew more curious. Enticed by the masterful riffs of Josh Drewe’s funk solo’s, Robinson masterfully drew the crowd in with a mixture of heightened vocals and devil may care interaction with the audience.
There was even dancing round a bag.
The seamless switch into ‘Get On Up’, really let loose. And the mini stage became open mic. The crowd were joining in from the escalators and even kids started getting their five minutes of fame. There was never a time in which you weren’t either laughing or singing along. And when Josh Drewe let loose with his guitar solo at the beginning of their version of ‘Sitck Together’ the crowd had already doubled. And it seemed that everyone from the five year olds to the seventy year olds began to boogie down. With the band fuelling the fire by encouraging everyone to take part in an oddly mixed version of Musical Simon Says – Kid style.
And they didn’t stop there. The band’s presence took over and with it the sheer force that made you want to join in, in that touch of wild, and yet constructed caviller swagger that Mick Jagger would have been proud of.
The band’s final song, a rousing version of ‘Faith’ was incredibly upbeat and definitely did George Michael’s original more than enough justice; with Tim Nugent’s drumming rhythms carrying the melody and Benedict’s acoustic accompaniment keeping the melody going strongly enough to sing along to. The song however was truly stolen by the newest and youngest member of the band: a Two- Year old from the audience, complete with hat gloves and more than enough cuteness to make up for the random placement on stage.
The band thus finished their act to rapturous applause, more than a few ‘aw’s’, and more smiles than at a fairground ride. With yours truly very warmed up and very cheered up.
The band were punchy, energetic and more than a little hilarious, but that only added to the uniqueness of their sound and vibe. They were entertaining enough that even if they had been terrible (they weren’t by any means) you would have forgotten the cold just as quickly and been dancing and singing along to the well known excellently, skilfully and simply wonderfully, covered songs and melodies.
It was exciting to watch and be a part of and I for one cannot wait till these guys are gigging around London.
Find out more about Flood the Floor: