Magistrates hail from South Woodham, Essex. The lineup includes Paul Usher (vocals,keyboards), Mark Brandon (guitar), Thom Galbally (bass) and Andy Grant (drums). These guys play an interesting fusion of funk and pop. Imagine the early Prince, The Ohio Players and Kool & the Gang. It’s funk of the scratchy and organic variety rather than the outrageous p-funk of say Funkadelic or Parliament. Chicken-scratch guitars and nervy cymbal clashes rather than outrageous basslines and synths.
They have a distinctive lo-fi sound, probably down to the fact that ‘Make This Work’ was recorded in the guitarists bedroom on a 16 track tape machine. It works to their advantage and they don’t come across too much like musical Magpies stealing or inmitating other peoples work.
Make This Work feels as If it has enough mainstream “cross over” potential. Funk, or at least varieties of it have had a mini resurgence with artists like Sam Sparro and Hot Chip in the charts doing similar things. The song has a catchy vocal hook with well delivered vocals and charming melodies. The group have already appeared on the up and coming stages at Glastonbury and Radio 1’s Big Weekend, so it’s only a matter of time before they get their big break.
Even the video is pretty inventive and fresh.