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Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno perform at this year’s Cambridge Club Festival

By Taran Bhachu

Described as “the UK’s undisputed number one live disco band”, Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno performed on the Saturday (8 June) at this year’s Cambridge Club Festival.

Following the gig, I put some questions to the band’s lead singer, Simon Baker.

Simon Baker of Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno. Picture: Taran Bhachu
Simon Baker of Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno. Picture: Taran Bhachu

First of all, the performance was fantastic! So do you usually listen to that sort of music at home, or do you prefer listening to different genres of music?

That would be like a busman’s holiday, wouldn’t it? if I was listening to disco at home as well! What I enjoy musically for my own taste is more sort of Afro beats and psychedelic folk and things like that.

Disco is my day job so listening to that at home as well as playing it on the weekends is a bit much I think!

What led you to land this gig?

Well, Uncle Funk has been going on for a long time so for our 30-plus year history we’ve managed to play these massive festivals like in Glastonbury.

We were playing every year at one point and a lot of other festivals around the UK so I think our pedigree just sort of means we can apply and play festivals like this.

I don’t think there are other cover or tribute bands that do a show in a way that we do - the mad costumes and so on. I think we give it that bit extra to get booked for these major events.

Do you play across countries, or do you guys prefer to play more locally?

Oh, we play all over the world! We do love to play in Europe because the festivals are bigger over there and we really enjoy that stuff.

We do theatres all around the UK, private gigs, people’s weddings and parties and corporate shows. This is the beauty of it, the beauty of the music we play, and it lends itself to the different shows we play, so yeah we will do anything!

Your family is very musical too! Do you also play an instrument, or do you just like singing?

I’m a drummer traditionally and I play bass as well as saxophone! My family and wider family are all musical. It kind of runs in the family and we all try a bit of everything.

Going back to how you mentioned the mad costumes, you play with your top off! Do you have to exercise a lot to keep up a physical appearance to play these energetic performances?

Yes. As I get older it gets much harder. Yeah so I have to work out most days to keep on top of it, otherwise everything will go south and I’ll have to retire!

Your band interacts with the audience quite a lot during performances. Has there ever been a time where one just stuck with you and you’ll remember it forever?

Well I do that thing with “oops upside your head” where everyone’s lying on the floor doing a rowboat motion and I rather cheekily walk over the top of them all.

One occasion I was doing that and someone pulled my trousers open and poured their drink down the front. So I don’t know if I enjoyed that or not but I suppose I asked for it. But it’s all good fun, you know?

Like I said, disco isn’t really my thing but it gets people up and dancing so you can’t go wrong with it!

For more information on Uncle Funk’s Disco Inferno, visit unclefunksdiscoinferno.com.

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