The BIG One 7Festival Weekend
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Men of North Country (MONC) emerged from Tel Aviv’s soul scene, bringing with them a fresh approach to creating the perfect three-minute soul nugget.
What a year 2016 has been for MONC; the band has released its second album on Acid Jazz Records, recorded a live session for Craig Charles on BBC Radio 6, flew out to Moscow and Germany, and finished off in the UK with two highly anticipated shows – at London’s O2 Academy Islington, and on the Madness House of Fun weekender. And on top of that, as a present for the holidays, its BBC session was chosen by the beeb as one of its best sessions of the year.
The group that has been described as “basically Soul with influences of Mod 79 sounds and Punk 77 music”, lived up to the expectations with its sophomore effort for the London based record label. This rock’n‘soul modish music has emerged from the Bauhaus architecture of Tel Aviv and from a thousand influences, most of them unexpected. 12 tracks infuse Northern Soul, Post-Punk and Rock’N’Roll into heady visions of the city’s buildings, streets, bedrooms, clubs and bars, while remaining dedicated to MONC’s brass section extravaganza and their firm belief in the power of a great pop song. It’s the work of a small collective of music fans in a culturally diverse city.
When hearing the new album, look out for their storming cover version of Lou Pride’s Northern Soul classic, I’m Com’un Home (which was already picked up for the Universal released Soul compilation, Express Your Soul), the Craig Charles favourite, Running, and the tribute to obscure Stax singer, Wendy Rene.
A short recap: Men of North Country emerged from Tel Aviv’s small soul scene, bringing with them a fresh approach to creating the perfect three-minute soul nugget. The band started by chance, when soul DJ Yashiv Cohen was overheard singing along to the 45’s he was spinning. With the encouragement and eventual collaboration of his musician friends he formed Israel’s finest soul outfit. UK based label Acid Jazz Records released two singles and a full-length album. All three releases garnered glowing reviews (including a warm recommendation from London’s Metro and a 5-star review in Germany’s Dynamite magazine).
These releases are filled with memorable melodies, infectious hooks and refreshingly honest lyrics, which portray the band’s love of a genre in which they truly excel. And whilst managing to stay true to their beloved 60s Soul, MONC also introduce a contemporary, fresh and personal twist and even tread some 80s water. Influences worn with pride: The Teardrop Explodes, Style Council and Dexy’s, but with an approving nod towards their 60’s favourites: Al Wilson, Robert Parker, Gloria Jones and many more.
MONC’s records were met with excitement all over Europe’s mod and soul scene and were followed by seven successful European tours so far. On the second one, the CopaseDisques label saw an opportunity, grabbed it with both hands, and put all seven lads in the all-analogue Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! studios in Hamburg, to record 4 new songs. The result of that was 2014’s Magic double 7″: three self-penned Soul smashers and a soulful cover of The Who’s The Seeker.
From the media:
“Our compass is pointing north, and it’s far from grim”, London’s Metro.
“Not a duff track on it… one of the top three long players of 2012”, Sussed magazine.
“5 Stars”, Dynamite magazine.
“Told you these guys got soul”, Diffuser.
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