By: Sheena Lyonnais
August 21, 2007
KC Roberts is an original funkadelic, rock and roll, jazzy hip hop inspired artist with a passion for music unmatched by 90 per cent* of Toronto artists, but what else can you expect from a man who claims to eat music for breakfast? At approximately 6’7, he is quite possible also the tallest.**
The independent artist and his 7-piece band KC Roberts and the Live Revolution have been making a name for themselves since their conception just over a year ago – they won best Live Electric at the Toronto Independent Music Awards earlier this month as well as a place in the finals during Indie Week (however, they were unable to attend due to scheduling conflicts).
“We’re like a very gritty band and we do what we got to do,” KC Roberts said prior to his Indie Week show at the Reverb. He is sipping chamomile tea nursing a throat infection, stoked to perform never the less. “If we had to show up with four of us I would do that. Everyone right now is digging it because it’s been a crazy year. I think everyone in the band is really excited about how things are going.”
Crazy year indeed – the band has been playing festival upon festival, including the Marijuana March, the Beaches’ Jazz Festival, the Markham Jazz Festival, the Distillery, various tribute shows to such artists as Nirvana and James Brown as well as opening for acts like the Black Eyed Peas. They’re also in the midst of working on their first full-length album Parkdale Funk, which is being produced independently and mixed out of KC’s apartment. It is expected to be released no later than February.
“When it came around time to start making the record, I wanted it to be a completely live record, because that’s what we’ve been doing for the last year. We haven’t really had recordings that represent us, we don’t have the kind of money to go in and make serious, really expensive recordings. So we really wanted to bring out our live element – what people see when they come to see us,” KC said.
Their live shows are absolutely mind-blowing. Complete with trumpet and trombone, full instrumentation and guest female vocalists, the band is something entirely unique and influenced by atypical genres, hidden YouTube videos and unconventional stage line-ups.
KC’s talent is extended further into a theatrical component, one that turns music shows into something more like the Blue Man Group – crazy, overwhelming talent with a lot to look at and even more to take in. One of his main influences stems from his love of jungle music.
"I want to do a live jungle show and actually arrange it with the jungle community. I’d get like two drummers, really good drummers that are just unreal and two keyboard players and do covers of old school jungle hits and do our own arrangements of songs, popular songs, as jungle or maybe write our own jungle songs. Just put on a crazy show,” he said.
KC Roberts and the Live Revolution are holding an insane Halloween party November 2nd at club Revival called the Boogie Down Massacre. The celebrity themed event will feature a red carpet, paparazzi photographers, costume contests and a set designed by KC himself. He’ll be joined on stage by No Stone and DJ Sean Sax, as well as some potential other guest musicians. This is what he says he lives for.
“You hear that whole kind of thing where you make a record and you play that record for two years and do that material nonstop and that’s all you do. I’d rather put on crazy shows,” KC said.
Tickets for the show can be purchased for $15 off his website or Ticketweb or for $20 at the door. This is a TMS highly recommended live act, one that is sure to both impress and make you dance.
For more info check out: www.kcroberts.ca and www.myspace.com/kcrobertsandtherawblue
* All percentages are estimations. TMS does not claim they are correct.
** This may also not be true. It is possible taller people also begin their days with a great big bowl of music, I just have yet to encounter them.