Bamboozle are a 50’s influenced rocking band with a modern sound. Being one of the only bands to have a gal on vocals and rockabilly slap bass a world class pedal steel player , one of the scenes top rockabilly guitarists and drummers and mesmerising four part harmonies Bamboozle are the band to see !
Playing a range of 1950’s rockabilly swing and western swing classics original songs and arrangements of some modern tunes , Bamboozle are a truly rocking band to dance the night away to.
The band consists of:
Serena Sykes – Double Bass/Vocals
Jim Knowler – Guitar/Vocals
Dave Kirk – Pedal Steel Guitar /Vocals
Shaun o’Keeffe – Drums /Vocals
The new single ‘Just like you’ is taken off the album ‘Red Right Hand’.
How would you describe your genre ?
Serena: I guess you could describe our music as Modern Rockabilly Swing… Or 50’s Revival… It’s a real eclectic mix of our influences. It has some definite rockabilly tones, and a strong western swing feel, and also swing style, but it also has a clean, modern sound, with even some alternative influences from myself. Its very difficult to pin down in one style, its not really like anything else around at the moment.
Jim: Rockabilly, Rock n’ Roll, Western swing and jive. Influenced by music from the 1950’s, but with a modern edge to it.
Shaun: A strong rockabilly sound with a broad range of styles
What is your new single ‘Just Like You’ about ?
Serena: The title track of our EP, Red Right Hand, is actually an original arrangement of a song by the artist Nick Cave. It’s a song I fell in love with when the movie “Scream” first came out, as it is featured on the soundtrack, and I was a big fan of horror, and really impressed with the new ‘slasher flick’ style the movie brought to the mix.
When we started Bamboozle, and I really started to get a taste for rockabilly music, which is really my favourite personal influence in the band, I had the idea to do a cover version of the song. The rest of the band members were dubious at first, but after we tried it a few times, it really gelled, and it was quickly obvious the tune would feature heavily at gigs.
Jim wrote the other main song on the EP, “Just Like You”. He has been writing music since he was 17, and has had a lot of success previously with his band, The Keytones, which he wrote all the original music for. We even spotted one of his singles in the “Rare Records” book in Waterstones a few weeks back, that was an exciting moment. The single is worth £20, and I think we still have a good few copies, just in case we’re ever that broke 😉
The version of Pink Panther was really just a jam. We were messing around with the theme in a rehearsal, and I mentioned I’d love to play the theme on bass, it would be a lot of fun as its such a cool tune. We played around with it, and the rockabilly style made its way into the arrangement, and we all just knew it would be a hit with our audience. Its such an exciting feel!
Jim: The new EP is our first release. We wanted to create something that would showcase as many of the genres of music we play. “Red right hand’ is a rockabilly cover with a modern edge to it. “Just like you” is a song I wrote. It’s about someone realising that a friend they had known for a while, was becoming more than a friend. It’s written to a jive tempo, so nice and upbeat for the dancers to enjoy.
Dave inspired “The Pink Panther”, when he started playing the famous intro. Serena had the idea of playing it as an instrumental despite not having a saxophone in the band. This gave it an original twist that I think works really well.
“Ice Cold Beer” is another original composition written by me. It’s about a guy who has obviously had a lot of bad experiences in his love life. So he decides to seek solace in a bar and buy an ice-cold beer, and cheers himself up by comparing the beer to his past girlfriends, and the beer wins hands down. It’s a very tongue in cheek song, with a western swing feel to it.
Shaun: Red right hand , Serena (bass) had the idea to turn a slow moody Nick cave song into a raw hard rock n roll number
Do you get nervous before a live gig and how do you manage this if you do ?
Serena: Yes, some days more than others. Personally, I think nerves are really important, as it’s where my energy comes from. The day I’m not nervous, is the day I’m not pushing myself into new places, and I’ll really need to give myself a good talking to!
Jim: I don’t get too nervous on gigs, maybe a little if it was a live radio or TV show.
Dave: Don’t get nervous usually
Shaun: No not generally but sometimes if it does happen, I give myself 10 mins. of quiet to try & clear the head & tell myself all I have to do is play the drums tonight…. once I’m behind the kit I’m good to go….but I don’t usually have before gig nerves….apprehension sometimes maybe.
What achievements are you proud of as a band ?
Serena: Our first big gig we managed to secure was Twinwood Festival in Bedfordshire. We are scheduled to play the main stage on the Friday evening, and I couldn’t be more excited. I am so thrilled that the organiser, David Wooding, took such a big risk on us, and I can’t wait to play there. Jim and I played there last year as our jazz duo, and it is such an incredible festival, and always so busy, the atmosphere is incredible and I can’t wait to bring Bamboozle to Twinwood.
We are also playing some other great festivals, including Feel the 50’s in Venlo, and Vlissingem Vintage festival, Maidstone Fringe Festival, this year, also a big local festival in Ramsgate, called Rock, Dock and two Smoking Barrels, based around the harbour. We also have a good number of gigs in Germany, Belgium and Holland so far this year, but we still have a few dates left, and hope to get even further afield!
We also recently had the pleasure to play at the Maidstone Pizza Express Music Rooms, on the same stage as names such as Stacey Kent, Diana Krall, Jamie Cullem and Norah Jones. The venue is highly renowned in the area, and the tickets were completely sold-out, which was really exciting. We can’t wait to get back there again!
We are also playing with a fantastic UK band, The Swing Commanders in May, up in Manchester, as part of our UK and European tour. The gig is at The Longfield Suite, in Prestwich, which is a beautiful looking venue, and set to be a great night!
Jim: We are a relatively new band, but this year we’ve secured dates at Twinwood festival, and a number of nice festivals in Europe.