The People’s Lounge presents the Studio Series:
A unique series of monthly shows at the intimate and modern Guildhall Studios, exploring new frontiers in music and the sounds of our collective futures.
A voyage through vibrant contemporary music interweaving styles and traditions across the spectrums of Electronic, Jazz, Nu‐Funk, Neo‐Soul, Latin & African.
Secret Night Gang
Handpicked by Gilles Peterson from Manchester’s vibrant live music scene, Jazz‐Funkers Secret Night Gang released their bold self‐titled debut album on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings in 2021. Led by the soulful vocals of Kemani Anderson and featuring saxophonist Callum Connell’s pin‐sharp orchestrations, Secret Night Gang is a joyful slice of summer‐soul goodness that nods to the vibrant history of jazz‐inflected soul, while reflecting today’s genre blending sensibilities in a heady mix of gospel, R&B, souljazz and more.
“We describe our sound as limitless,” says Connell. “It’s not set in one genre, and the album is both a reflection of the past three years, as well as an homage to our favourite music and musicians.” That shared history is worn as a badge of honour, as the group taps into the musical influence of Chic, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire over the course of the album. Anderson puts it best: “Let me take you on a journey,” he sings on the Tower of Power‐esque stomper ‘Journey’. “But first of all, let me give you some soul.”
“We write open‐ended tunes to let the listener find themselves in the music,” says Connell of the album’s aim. “But most of all, it’s not music to think to – it’s music to dance to.” With an upbeat positivity that’s impossible not to warm to, Secret Night Gang’s debut emerges from the shadows and into the summery light.
Gilles Peterson – “For me it’s an extraordinary level of musical competence at such a young age. It’s incredibly complete music, tight arrangements and with far reaching musical ambition.” BBC Radio 6 Music
+ Tash Hills
With influences like Chaka Khan, Quincy Jones, George Benson and Marvin Gaye, it’s obvious that Tash Hills would be filled with funk! Combining 80s soul; whilst fusing modern funk, pop and house music, Tash is already building a name and reputation for herself.
August 2020 saw her debut single ‘Stepping on Out’ released, showcasing to everyone her sassy, fierce vibes. Tash’s second single First Breath was released November 2020 and was an instant hit which gained huge follows in America and Japan; securing a place on Spotify’s editorial playlist ‘Nu‐Funk’ with the likes of Cory Wong, Vulfpeck and Omar. Upbeat, infectious and fun Tash Hills music has secured its place in the world of ‘Nu‐Funk’ and is here to stay!
+ Wax Equities
Seasoned record collector and enthusiast Tom Fitch delves deep to find the music he loves, and few do it better. A life‐long student of breakbeat and subculture, Tom’s sets are an all vinyl ode to the iconic records and unsung heroes that form a lineage, through soul, funk, jazz, rare‐groove, disco and hip‐hop. A study through era, genre and flavour, celebrating great records and the artists who made them.