Tahuna Breaks bring funk to festival
Tahuna Breaks was not a challenging or high-brow show, but it delivered a reliable night's dancing to fans who knew what they wanted.
Most members of this seven-piece band play multiple instruments, and they're known for including a little bit of everything in their music. Their sound is a retro-feeling blend of funk, disco, soul, live electronics and roots, which turned into something deeper and dancier by the end of the set.
My first impression of this gig was that it was a bit like a primary-school disco. The vaulting high ceilings of the TSB Bank Mainstage was larger than really necessary for this kind of show, and together with the disco ball on the roof, it gave the jazzy first half of the set a slightly awkward feel.
Most of the room was on the dance floor by the end of the second song, however, and all of the drops were anticipated by a lot of screaming and arm-waving from the crowd. It was pretty clear that nearly all of the people in the room knew exactly what this band was about, and they sang all the words.
Frontman Marty Greentree was on good form. His energetic performance and strong voice carried the heavier second half of the set, and gave a more interesting dimension to the dub-influenced dance tracks. Marty wore his funk influences on his sleeve, quite literally- I don't know if I've ever heard anyone use the words “funk” or “funky” so many times in under two hours before, but it fit with the relaxed vibe they were going for.
A green wig got thrown around throughout the show and made its way onto Marty's head for a few seconds. Bassist Tim Gillon acquired a sombrero part-way through the set, and synth player Adam Fuhr got told off by percussionist and saxophonist Jonny McClean for popping off to the toilet in the middle of a song. “Yeah, I'm a part-time muso” replied Adam.
Marty also gave 17-year-old audience member Ana a thrill when he got the crowd to wish her happy birthday. She got a high-five and the song “Make Out Party” dedicated to her. “I wish I was 17 again,” Marty said before launching into the “song for lovers”.
The band came back for two encores before leaving the crowd to make their way to The Granary cafe for more dancing with DJ Gene.