May 21st, 2020
The UK’s funk brothers are back! After 2 years working hard in their studio in Leeds in the north of England, The Haggis Horns are ready to drop album number 5! “Stand Up For Love” is released worldwide on their own label Haggis Records on the 22nd May on Vinyl, CD and Digital. They should have added a subtitle to it…back to roots! This one has them doing what they’ve done best from day one…kicking the funk! Plus the spotlight is truly on the band – no special guests, just Haggis Horns band members past and present including “Hot Damn!” singer John McCallum who features on seven out of the nine tracks making this their most vocal led album to date.
The Haggis Horns first hit the music scene in 1999 as both a band and brass section, the horns making their first recorded appearance on The New Mastersounds‘ debut album that year. Featuring some of the finest brass and rhythm section players in the UK, Haggis Horns musicians have played live and recorded with major music artists including Mark Ronson, Corinne Bailey Rae, Lou Donaldson, Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Martha Reeves, Jamiroquai, John Legend & The Roots, The Cinematic Orchestra, Morcheeba, Roots Manuva, Finley Quaye, Nightmares On Wax.
After five singles and two albums on UK independent label First Word Records, since 2015 they’ve been releasing their music on their own Haggis Records label. The imprint dipped its toes into releasing other artists with soul singer Lucinda Slim‘s debut EP in 2018, followed by the solo jazz albums of band members Malcolm Strachan (trumpet) and George Cooper (keyboards/piano). But three years after their last full band release, the time is ripe for another Haggis Horns album.
“Stand Up For Love” is their 5th album and as always it drips with funk and soul magic which show the band’s love for early/mid 70’s artists like Kool & The Gang, Fred Wesley & The JB’s, The Blackbyrds, The Fatback Band, The Meters and Sly & The Family Stone. From pure funk club bangers like “Shoulder To Shoulder” and “Haggis Express“ to deeper soulful sounds of “Ain’t Nothing But Love In The End”, “Give It Up” and “Ain’t Loving One Another” (which features one of many stand out vocal performances by John McCallum) it’s a mix that makes sure all musical bases are covered. Also original percussionist/conga player Sam Bell is back recording with the band and once again adding some latin fire to the Haggis Horns sound. There’s even a soulful reggae track on this one, the album title song “Stand Up for Love”. It’s the first time the band feature a reggae number on a release since their debut back in 2007.
Two decades on, numerous releases, hundreds of gigs worldwide, this 5th album proves that The Haggis Horns are still kings of the hill when it comes to UK Funk and Soul.