SINGLE REVIEW: TC & The Groove Family – ‘Stand Strong’


TC & The Groove Family make damn fine music, bloody damn fine music. It’s funky, Soul-y, Jazzy, Afrobeat-y and has a groove that’s irresistible.

‘Stand Strong’ – the first release from the band’s forthcoming EP – has something of the retro about it. It combines their jazz sound with dub, and some burningly funky soul. I vowed to not use the description Nu-Soul in this review but I find myself kinda put in the position where I have no choice but to use it. And yet there is more in this musically twisting and turning 61/2 minutes. At one point there is an extended sax solo that reminds me of early Madness; yep, there is ska in the mix.

You see, like many bands who make damn fine music, TC & The Groove Family’s music is hard to define. And to be honest, time spent trying to define it is time wasted. It’s music that is all kinds of fabulous, played by musicians who are frankly outstanding. It’s music that demands that you bloody dance until you can’t dance any more, but then you can just sit exhausted and listen to this band play, and reel in amazement.

And yet there is another layer to this track because it comes with a message; a message in words supplied by Franz Von. Franz explains ‘Stand Strong celebrates our ability to look within and around us to find courage. It highlights our perseverance, determination and strengths in facing adversity, encouraging everyone to recognise these strengths and use them to better themselves and the people around them’.

It introduces the theme of community empowerment that unifies the forthcoming EP,
the track highlights those throughout history who have created movements in the face of
adversity, encouraging listeners to stand strong with their communities in the present day.
Transmitting a poignant message of solidarity at a time of global turbulence. And the band’s multifaceted music is the right carrier of such a message; mixing many different sounds into one fantastic unified sound.

Enough of this, time spent reading my review is time you could be spending listening and grooving to this absolutely wonderful track. It’s a bloody joy, people.

Oh, and one more thing I have to tell you. There’s a shorter radio edit version of the track, it’s just as good as the longer version except it’s shorter. My recommendation, you need the long version in your life.

The info

Originally formed in Leeds, TC & The Groove Family’s sound reflects the diverse musical and cultural backgrounds at the core of the project, with songs exploring grooves and genres including afrobeat, broken beat, jungle, jazz and grime.

The forthcoming ‘We Have Each Other’ EP sees the band refine the sound debuted on their 2022 album ‘First Home’. Returning to work once again with producer Tom Excell (Nubiyan Twist, ONIPA), the project explores a darker sonic palette, channeling a deep appreciation of UK bass and electronic music alongside afro-jazz sounds and hip-hop sensibilities. It documents a time of change within the group – a new lineup, plus members living in different cities and pursuing various paths – whilst also reflecting the turbulent socio-political climate, and the major shifts and changes on the horizon for humanity.

Building upon the core of the Groove Family, the project features contributions from Nubiyan Twist’s Aziza Jaye, and BBCR1Xtra-backed Birmingham MC SANITY. Despite the heavy subject material, the band strike an optimistic, uplifting tone, encouraging listeners to look around and embrace community, whatever that may look like. No one should be lonely when celebrating each other, and the band encourage an ethos that says ‘it’s good to be me, but it’s better to be us.’

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.