The Tibbs – Takin’ Over? No – I’m not on about the couple at number 46 with the cherry tree on the front lawn and the privet hedge – that’s the Tibbs. I’m talking about The Tibbs – the latest in a respectable line-up of Dutch retro funk and soul acts who with their debut LP, fronted by female vocal powerhouse Elsa Bekman could be the very thing (and then some) to fill the vacancy left by Laura Vane & The Vipertones after they went all pop. Don’t expect them to sound like the latter though – obviously they’ve got an ‘angle’ on the retro funk and soul sound – you can’t just rock up in this day and age and expect to get props for merely giving good retro after all.
And so it is that on Takin’ Over, The Tibbs often opt for a decidedly pre-funk slant to their soul. There’s northern-ish stomper Get Back Tuesday for example, the original rnb of opener Dog Days and a high point in Washed My Hands which sees the band go for a Loma Records type feel. Both tracks from the recent single are included: Next Time which rocks a Supremes-vibe and flip The Story Goes which manages the feat of combining both soul and bluebeat. There’s a decent cover of Question Mark & The Mysterions’ 96 Tears and no fewer than three slowies. Until We Meet Again is super-stripped back almost fifties-ish affair that consists of little more than Bekman, tremolo guitar and the occasional horns or organ motif while Armada is much more late night jazz club material and Wild Way goes for an Otis Redding Pain In My Heart type vibe. So where’s the funk? Alright – I was getting to that – and be in no doubt that this lot can turn it out. Suffocated turns on a clattery break and a soul-jazzy bit of organ while closer (and Ike & Tina cover) Cussin’ Cryin’ And Carryin’ On finds the band leaving another highlight until the very end in the shape of a forceful slab of southern funky soul that is so good you wonder why there isn’t more like this.
What else do you need to know? Oh yeah – did I mention that Takin’ Over was recorded on vintage gear and mastered in Nashville by Motown veteran master engineer Bob Ohlsson? That the band run quality line in videos? Oh or that Bekman has pneumatic, pin-up looks? It’s all true. Takin’ Over might well prove prophetic.
(Out 20 May on Record Kicks)