TC & The Groove Family ‘First Home’ 180g Vinyl (Worm Disc) 5/5

The remarkably apt opening line, “We have all this love to give, so let’s start!”, to TC & The Groove Family’s debut single from October 2020, ‘Let’s Start’, also launched the group’s statement of intent for their music going forward. A riveting, high-energy number that presented the band’s jazz-meets-afrobeat aesthetic with an impassioned message was a winner from the get-go and further bolstered by the accompanying electronic reimagining of the track by TAMBALA which added even more layers to TC & The Groove Family’s multi-faceted approach to music-making.

The blissful nine-minute wonder of ‘Temple’ soon followed, plunging the band even further into their own bold musical soundscapes and paving the road for the official full-length debut from TC & The Groove Family, ‘First Home’, which is finally unveiled to keen listeners this year.

Headed up by bandleader, drummer and founder, Tim “TC” Cook, the Leeds-based, ten-piece ensemble find a suitable recording home within the esteemed walls of Worm Discs. Themselves, a label committed to “shining a light on some of the most cutting edge acts from around the UK” (as outlined via the label’s Bandcamp page), TC & The Groove Company find themselves amidst fine company with labelmates including the contemporary jazz stylings of Snazzback and the alt-jazz sounds of Run Logan Run. The broad and ambitious scope of TC & The Groove Family comfortably positions the collective within that “cutting edge” bracket with ‘First Home’ demonstrative of a band literally bursting with inspiration and creativity.

Their no-rules approach to composition is aided in large part here by Tom Excell from Nubiyan Twist who, as a revered name in their own right, are a band who also create music that comfortably straddles that incredibly thin margin between jazz, afro rhythms and Latin influences. Across the eight tracks presented on ‘First Home’, we’re introduced to a series of exciting songs that showcase the band’s unwavering personality and charm across instrumental numbers and also tracks where group vocalist Pariss “Elektra” Joseph leads the charge in spectacular fashion with a vocal that knows when to command with authority as she does in ‘Bossfight’ while also being able to deliver an affectionate and graceful performance as in ‘Sleeping Lions’.

Another notable vocal appearance comes from Franz Von – the Jamaican rapper and MC from K.O.G & The Zongo Brigade – who offers up a series of spirited verses on the track ‘Weh Dem A Do?’. The collaboration serves as a reunion of sorts following on from Von’s appearance on the ZÖLA remix of ‘Let’s Start’ which formed part of the group’s ‘Remixes’ EP from late last year. We touched upon the dynamic nature of The Groove Family’s music earlier and the openness to interpretation the music lends itself to being steered towards including a variety of varying electronic and jungle-inspired directions. A further testament to The Groove Family’s innovative and all-encompassing formula that is sure to solidify the collective as genuine champions of a pioneering UK sound.

‘First Home’ delivers as a massively triumphant outing from TC & The Groove Family – sure to be one of the standout releases of the year as well as the official launchpad to far greater successes for the boundlessly talented band.

Current UK tour dates:

30th June – El Dorado
1st July – Outlook
22nd July – Secret Garden Party
23rd July – Great Get Together
24th July – Bluedot
28th July – Kendal Calling
29th July – Deershed
30th July – Farmfest
4th August – Good Society
7th August – Wilderness
20th August – Greenman
25th August – We Out Here
26th August – Shambala
27th August – Camper Calling
28th August – Moovin
3rd September – Smugglers

Imran Mirza