Review: Slamboree, The Long Game

Slamboree live in Exeter recently
Slamboree live in Exeter recently
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It’s been a long time coming.

But good things come together eventually and Slamboree’s debut album The Long Game has been well worth the wait.

Fronted by former Morecambe man Mike Freear and featuring a huge cast of musicians and actors, the band’s 14 track album has been released on its own label Slam Inc and is packed full of beats, breaks, big drums, strings, samples, soaring vocals and some serious swagger.

It takes a journey through electronic music with styles ranging from drum n’ bass, hip hop, house, glitch, electro-swing and techno via the wider genres of soul, reggae, Balkan, punk and good old rock n’ roll.

Guest appearances come from long time collaborator Beans on Toast, and John Fairhurst, Gramski, Too Many Ts and Martha Cecilia, adding extra layers to a collection of songs already teeming with diversity.

Check out the poetry on Reasons Why I Dance and New Quest, hunt for the subtle Prodigy sample – and anyone that combines lyrics from the classic Christmas film The Snowman, with nifty drumming and Gypsy swing weaving around it has got my vote.

Turbo Folk is just mental, and My Game My Rules featuring the Rev Captain Liability Eden is a Baz Luhrmannesque focus on life’s positives.

Funky vocal led drum n’ bass track Inspire has been released as the first single off the album. It’s a hugely accomplished collection of songs, with plenty of musical meat on the electronic bones.

Sometimes “electronica” albums can feel a little flat, but you can tell care has been taken over the production on this one, and anyone who has been to see Slamboree live since they formed in 2011 will feel that energy flowing through The Long Game.

The album is available from www.slamboree.com, on Spotify, and other streaming services.

Slamboree are playing a string of festival dates over the summer, including Weinturm Open Air in Nuremberg on August 3, Boomtown on August 10, Sunrise Festival on August 17, and Solfest in Cumbria on August 24.