The New Mastersounds

In the late 1990’s, guitarist and producer Eddie Roberts was running a club night in Leeds called The Cooker. When The Cooker moved into a new venue with a second floor in 1999, there was space and the opportunity to put a live band together to complement the DJ sets.

Simon Allen and Eddie had played together in 1997 as The Mastersounds, though with a different bassist and no organ. Through friends and the intimate nature of the Leeds music scene, Pete Shand and Bob Birch were added on bass and Hammond respectively, and The New Mastersounds were born. Though it was raw, and more of a boogaloo sound at first, it was powerful from the start. Their first rehearsal was hot enough for Blow it Hard Records to release on two limited-edition 7” singles in 2000. Joe Tatton, another veteran of the Leeds scene, joined back in 2007, replacing Bob Birch on organ and piano.

Fast-forward 17 years from their first 7″ and their catalogue boasts 25 7” singles, 10 studio albums & 3 live albums and their music is in demand for TV, film & advertising and they continue to tour extensively worldwide with demand so high in the US that they tour almost on rotation to satisfy their fans love and insatiable appetite for their unique brand of British funk.

The New Mastersounds – Made For Pleasure

Leeds finest – The New Mastersounds return with their tenth studio album Made For Pleasure, their most sprawling and ambitious record to date.

The band’s core four-guitarist Eddie Roberts, drummer Simon Allen, bassist Pete Shand and organist Joe Tatton-are joined by guests including super fabulous soul chanteuse Charly Lowry, revered percussionist/vibraphonist Mike Dillon and the North Cali-based West Coast Horns, featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Cohen and trumpeter Mike Olmos.

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Recorded in New Orleans, The New Mastersounds high-step through the humidity and heat leaving no soul or funk touchstone unturned. Both the title track and High & Wide are drenched in The-Meters-meet-Lee-Dorsey Big Easy funk, while tracks like Enough Is Enough, Joy and Just Gotta Run are firmly rooted in classic soul sister rhythm & blues tradition; think Tina Turner, Ann Peebles, Bettye LaVette. Super-charged by Eddie Roberts’ stinging guitar leads, Cigar Time and Sitting On My Knees take a decidedly soul-jazz turn, diving headlong into Grant Green grit and groove. Capping off Made For Pleasure and further validating its title is a dubbed out reinvention of Iggy Azalea’s smash hit Fancy that cleverly turns the pop artist’s ode to materialism into a 21st century stoner anthem with the repurposed refrain, I’m so irie.

The New Mastersounds know what feels good and deliver it in spades on their latest long player, and rightfully so, as it was after-all…Made For Pleasure.

*Fancy – master license clearance only.

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