Mango Factory/ Straight from the Grape, The Fleece, Bristol

We met some friends at the Fleece in Bristol last night to catch a couple of bands. Our mate John plays sax in Mango Factory

The support, Straight from the Grape, were a trio (guitar, bass, drums) and they launched straight in with a catchy, loud, funky groove which set the tone for the rest of their set. At times, if you stumbled in through the door as they were in full flight, you might not have been too sure whether they were a very rocky ‘jangly guitar’ band or a slightly rocky funk outfit. When they settled in swingy funk territory they were more convincing and judging by the extra dancing and swaying hips, the audience thought so too.

Mango Factory were relentlessly funky with some samba like flavours in the mix. Pretty quickly everyone was up and dancing. They were at their best with some metronomic funky grooves and nice tight horn section work adding shouts and stabs. If Jamiroquai had been a ghostly presence in the background of the first set, here there was no mistaking it with a zany cover of Space Cowboy which had some interludes of frenetic rock samba. They sounded a little less sure footed when they strayed away from very definite funky grooves, but it was never long before one re appeared and the feet were tapping again. Great fun!

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