The festival is delighted to welcome the Soulful and Funky sounds of MF Robots as they perform a special double bill evening show on Friday 24 May at Blackmore Gardens.
Collaborating for the first time while recording and performing with one of the UK’s most commercially successful Acid Jazz bands The Brand-New Heavies in 2013, founder and drummer Jan Kincaid and vocalist Dawn Joseph discovered immediate musical chemistry and began writing songs together right away.
They soon left the band to concentrate on their own work, starting MF Robots (Music for Robots) and releasing an eponymous debut in 2018.
The band have toured the world and were personally asked by Lenny Kravitz to support him on his last European Arena tour – The band’s latest record ‘Break the Wall’ is out on BBE Records and including contributions from studio legends, Gail Anne Dorsey (David Bowie) and Cory Wong (Vulfpeck).
“It’s about liberation, about being freed from musical constraints and perceptions, about pushing the envelope and challenging ourselves and making it edgy,” says Jan Kincade.
MF Robots – their name, a subtle dig at how generic today’s music climate has become – based around Joseph’s effusive vocals, mindful of soul’s golden age but no revival, and Kincaid’s killer rhythms. Touchstones for Joseph are Anita Baker, Gladys Knight, and Whitney; their classicism viewed here through a modern lens. “The first time I heard Dawn sing, I was gripped,” says Kincaid. “Her voice just pulled me in.”
Dawn Joseph is a vibrant personality, both on and off stage, with a rich musical past – she started out playing bass with Phil Collins’ band and has sung with acts as diverse as Kylie Minogue, Michael McDonald and CeeLo Green – she is a part of that lineage that connects Rick James, Nile Rodgers, and Grace Jones. Her attire, which she designs and makes herself, is flamboyant and colourful and she carries herself with a flair and verve.