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Dance duo The Correspondents to play Secret Dance Party in Huntingdon

The Correspondents (Chucks and Mr Bruce)
The Correspondents (Chucks and Mr Bruce)

A talented DJ and music mixer who lays down thumping drum 'n' bass/electro-swing/jazz/jungle beats and a charismatic, impeccably dressed Old Etonian blessed with amazing stage presence who dances like a man possessed. It does indeed sound like the perfect combination, and it pretty much is.

Mr Bruce of The Correspondents. Picture: Kamil Kustosz
Mr Bruce of The Correspondents. Picture: Kamil Kustosz

DJ Chucks and Ian Bruce, whose stage name is ‘Mr Bruce’, are The Correspondents, a London-based duo who have been electrifying audiences all over the world with their high-energy shows for the best part of a decade. Particularly active during festival season, the pair, who hail from Wandsworth – and whose parents knew each other – were included on The Telegraph’s top 10 highlights of Glastonbury for two consecutive years.

Backed by feisty drummer Holly Madge, the two childhood friends will be appearing at the Secret Garden Party in Huntingdon on July 23.

“This might be our seventh year playing it – we had one year out,” said Mr Bruce, an alumnus of the Edinburgh College of Art, who also makes a living as a portrait painter. “We seem to play the same slot every year as well: the main stage on a Sunday afternoon, which is really fantastic. I think we have become a bit of a house band for them!”

Despite Huntingdon being a regular stop on their travels, the band doesn’t seem to perform very often in Cambridge.

“It’s not the fact that we don’t want to come to Cambridge, it’s more the fact that the way a band of our level works is we’re invited to play places. It’s very rare that we pick and choose where we want to play. So if you can persuade anyone in Cambridge to invite us down, then we’d be happy to!”

The Correspondents are readying their second album for release later this year, the follow-up to 2014’s Puppet Loosely Strung. “It’s been a little while in the making,” said Mr Bruce, who is also heavily involved in the band’s artwork and music videos.

“Chucks is putting the finishing touches on it – all the vocal stuff is done. I think we’re about 85-90 per cent there. We’re starting to think about music videos and that kind of thing, which is the fun part for me.”

Mr Bruce at “full-throttle” is a wonder to behold, though he openly admits: “I’ve never learnt how to dance.

“I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, really. I think technically if someone was to actually assess my dancing, there’s probably a lot of holes in it.

“But because we’ve been doing the band for almost 10 years now, there are set routines.

“I kind of invent my own choreography for each song. I just get into a habit and my body almost becomes like an automatic reaction to it. I really love it when we play new material because I will go on stage having not a clue how I’m going to dance to it.

“Then over the course of a few gigs, suddenly I’ll find myself slipping into a certain routine, and will refine it.”

He concluded: “Dancing is just something I really, really enjoy. I get such an adrenaline rush out of it and in 10 years that hasn’t gone, which is always thrilling.”

The Correspondents play the Secret Garden Party in Huntingdon on Sunday, July 23. For more information, visit thecorrespondents.co.uk or secretgardenparty.com.

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