THE IMPELLERS; My Certainty (Legere)


The Impellers are a Brighton-based 10 piece soul and funk band and ‘My Certainty’ is their third full album. Like their first two LPs, this one is stuffed with hard driving, brash and brassy funk – like the wild opener ‘Veeber’. But this time around the set is top-heavy with vocals. Lead vocalist throughout is Clair Witcher, whose name is up there with the band’s name in the main credits. They clearly think a lot about her and in fairness she has a strong, powerful voice – but (and I’m sure she’ll admit it too) it’s not in the same league as the true funk passion of people like Marva Whitney and Vicki Anderson.

She makes a brave fist of rolling funk tunes like the sparse ‘I Don’t Care’ and the bassy ‘The Routine’. Best of these big funk rumbles is the oddly titled ‘Last Dance Of The Moai’. The Moai, it seems, are the big-headed Easter Island statues and this cut is a reworking of a tune from the band’s first LP. The extra work they’ve put into the cut shows. Ms Witcher has more control here and she also shines on the ballads – notably the LP’s title cut and the dramatic 60’s throwback that is ‘Can’t Change’.

Elsewhere ‘Ray McKay’ is a decent Hammond-led jazz-soul workout while ‘Sworn in Enemy’ explores the same genre but in a much more disciplined way.

(BB) 3/5