Thu 29 Jul 2021

In mid-2021, Melbourne 7-piece heavy groovers The Seven Ups released their long anticipated fourth studio album, The Old World. Responding to the turmoil of 2020, the album navigates through the darker fringes of instrumental music, drifting from funk and spiritual jazz to psychedelic fuzz rock. Yet the band had its roots firmly planted in more classic Afrobeat and funk traditions. 

In 2015, two years after forming, The Seven Ups released their self-titled first full-length album, a record that was influenced by Fela Kuti and Daptone bands such as Budos Band, Antibalas and Sharon Jones, as well as local heroes like The Bamboos, Saskwatch and Clairey Browne and the Bangin Rackettes. Founding member and guitarist Trent Sterling reflects, 

‘We were starry-eyed youngsters, fresh out of various music schools, playing heaps of gigs anywhere and everywhere, and were just stoked to have anyone listening to our music. The songs are more down-the-line instrumental funk and afrobeat numbers, but there's hints of  the rock and jazz that's influenced our more recent releases.’  

Shortly after the release of their first album, The Seven Ups came in to PBS to record a live set that we are delighted to rebroadcast on Radio City. Announcer Crispi has been following the band from the beginning and notes the ways in which they have evolved musically since then.

‘From Afrobeat to psych-rock, The Seven Ups are a band who have shown real progress over time. They’re better and better with each album but it’s always good to go back to where a band started. Their first album is a wonderful Afrobeat album, especially with songs such as Senora Doll and New Mellow. It's with great privilege that I'm able to play their Studio 5 Live session from 2015.’ 

Tune in to Radio City on July 29 to hear the full set. 

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