Kings of Macumba… a name that resonates deep within my heart and conjures up all sorts of weird, wacky, happy, frustrating memories.
We were a samba band, although we took part in lots of community events we weren’t a community samba band, we were a group of friends who all got together to play samba. Marco got us into it, he had taken part in a few samba work shops and regularly gave work shops to children. He took his besto, Shaun, on a samba workshop in Sardinia – and that was it. Shaun was hooked. He spent his savings on all of the equipment to kit out a starter band – timba’s, surdo’s, bells, caixa, tamborims, repiniques.
The original band was small, a few friends tried it out but didn’t stick with it. The main culprits who were there from the start were Marco, Foo, Shaun, Rodgie, Fergie. Davy and Jamie also dabbled, but only stayed for a few hot, sweaty sessions. And perhaps a gig or two.
I joined by default; more bodies were needed. I had my reservations – me, musical? Shaun pointed out that if I can count to 4 then I’ll be fine. I progressed, definitely, but the frustration I mentioned in the first paragraph came from me finding it tricky to pick up the more complex samba patterns we started playing as the band got better.
When I joined the band had only played 2 gigs, one for our friends birthday in the function suite of a local pub, and the other was at an outdoor party arranged for our friend. This was Aymann’s Party in Wonderland.
The music was banging, almost primal, completely raw and untamed.
The party go-ers loved it!
When I joined we were practising a Samba Reggae and a Hip Hop song. The practice venue was ‘The Jamming Room’, the music room set up in Shaun and Marco’s. This is now my bedroom, and looks a whole lot different from the samba days! The energy that we shared in that room was immense!
Here’s a video of us playing the Hip Hop in the bedroom. Remember, this was the early days.
We spent ages deliberating and arguing over names. We were almost called, ‘The Big Green Pleasure Machine’, but thankfully we agreed on Kings of Macumba. To us, Macumba was a groove that we were playing, but we later found out that in Brazilian Portuguese it can be perceived as an offensive word, that symbolises black magic. Oops. After we found this out we again deliberated over names, in the end we didn’t change. Not through choice really, mostly because we could never agree on a new one! I’m glad we didn’t as I loved our name.. it became so familiar and personal feeling. As we were starting to acquire a following of fans – changing name (to me) wasnt a good idea! PLUS. I had Vista Printed the ass right out of the logo and created fridge magnets, business cards, stickers….
We described ourselves as Scotland’s hottest samba band. Everyone who watched us performing; be it during a parade, in a club, at a festival, an open day or while we were busking, would comment on how much we all looked like we were enjoying ourselves.
Of course we were. There’s not that much better than hanging out with your homies and playing some goooooood music.
Some of my best memories are created thanks to Kings of Macumba.
No one was in it to make money, any money we made was pumped back into the band via work shops, equipment and support where possible for getting to gigs.
Next time I’ll show you some more photos and explain the types of gigs we played, how often we busked, why we busked.. and the low down of Kings of Macumba on tour… in Italy!!
P.S I dont know what spurred me on my reminiscing mission, but I’ve already trawled through lots of photos and videos and I can safely say that I’m glad to have decided to remember through my blog! Memories are gallus!