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Big Smoke

by Five Alarm Funk

supported by
Cyril Glaume
Cyril Glaume thumbnail
Cyril Glaume Big Smoke est une formidable vague d’énergie pétillante mêlant joie de vivre Funk, charpente Rock, trépidations Ska et soleil des tropiques avec un talent immense qui n’a d’égal que sa force d’impact. C’est ce genre de disque-hymne à la vie qui prouve que, contrairement aux dires des blasés, tous les classiques n’ont pas encore été écrits.

Pour en savoir plus : Favorite track: Chaos Is A Ladder.
xpatofthemind thumbnail
xpatofthemind Super hot funk as advertised! You will not be sorry. So many great tracks it's hard to pick just one. The horns are bold and the rhythm section just don't stop; this ain't no disco but it will make you move guaranteed. Favorite track: Awooga.
Flakey thumbnail
Flakey I love the energy, the horns, guitars, percussion and above all the FUNK
Freqelf thumbnail
Freqelf This album gives me energy when I can't get started in the morning. It's impossible to sit still while listening to this. Favorite track: Mufasa.
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Awooga 03:52
Mufasa 04:23
Big Smoke 05:52
Chango Vudu 03:56
Thumper 04:50


Five Alarm Funk is a horn-powered, percussion-fueled sonic and visual assault. Over 17 years of hard funking the band has burned up stages on four continents, released six studio albums and received two Juno Award nominations (Canadian Grammys). And this ride isn’t about to slow down, Five Alarm Funk is set to release their 7th studio album, Big Smoke in 2020. The 11 tracks get right to the roots of what Five Alarm Funk is all about: epic, intense arrangements, heavy groove and a ton of fun.

As drummer, vocalist, and band leader Tayo Branston puts it, “Big Smoke is the tightest, funkiest and most energized album we've ever created, it's the culmination of 17 years of creating, recording and performing together. We call it Punk Funk – it’s got the punch of heavy hitting dance music with the energy of a ruckus live concert.”

The album features two collaborations, the first with the legendary Bootsy Collins delivering hook-laden, funktastic vocals over a heavy swung groove on We Play The Funk. “I’ve been a Bootsy Collins fan ever since I was 15,” Branston marvels. “That track we made with him is one of the funkiest things we’ve ever cut.” Next, bari sax phenom Leo P of Too Many Zooz lays down his trademark squawks and melodic squeals for Wake the Funk Up, a supremely syncopated, chromatic laden jam. That collaboration emerged out of a jam session with Too Many Zooz in front of thousands at the Winnipeg Folk Festival and turned into a string of concerts with Leo P joining Five Alarm Funk on stage.

For all the honing of their studio craft, the Five Alarm Funk epic live shows is still what defines the band. The sweat-drenched concerts are infused with an intense spirit of fun that breaks down barriers between band and audience and moves both into a manic dance party. Wild costumes, props, and choreography complement the seriously tight arrangements and genre-mashing grooves. As Vancouver’s Georgia Straight put it “I lost control and went on a dance rampage… You guys blew my mind and body.”

That live show has taken Five Alarm Funk on dozens of North American coast to coast tours, performing at over 100 festivals in the last three years alone. The band has also begun to break ground abroad, with performances in Taiwan, Mexico, and a performance for international peacekeeping forces in Mali. Five Alarm Funk plans to keep the momentum going in 2020 with another busy summer of festivals and the band’s first European tour.


released June 26, 2020

Kent Wallace – Trumpet
Tom Towers – Congas, percussion, vocals
Oliver Gibson – Guitar
Tayo Branston – Drums, vocals
Gabe Boothroyd – Guitar
Tim Parent – Bass (3, 5, 8)
Brent Mah – Sax (5, 8)
Jason Smith – Bass (4, 6, 7, 10)
Dawn Pemberton – Vocals (3)
Darren Parris – Bass (1, 2, 9)
Steve Hilliam – Bari sax (1, 2, 9, 10)
Carl Julig – Timbales (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10)
Jens Chistiansen – Sax (2, 9)
Eli Bennett – Sax (1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10)

Recorded at Hipposonic and FAF Studios, Vancouver, BC
Produced and engineered by Ben Kaplan and Five Alarm Funk
Mixed by Ben Kaplan
Mastered by Brock McFarlane at CPS Mastering
Album art by Noah Stacey
Layout by Oliver Gibson



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Five Alarm Funk Vancouver, British Columbia

A pack of howling funk musicians hopped up on tainted ice cream.


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