Freakpower was formed in 1993 by Norman Cook and Ashley Slater. It was the greasy, illegitimate love child of Beats International and Microgroove.
They recorded their first studio album in Brighton in 1993, using a combination of tunes adapted from what was intended to be two albums, the first being the Beats International follow up to Excursion on The Version and the Microgroove follow up to The Human Groove.
The album was initially released on 4th and Broadway in 1993, with the first single, Turn On, Tune In, Cope Out being released in the spring of that year. It achived a chart position of 23, and as a result of that, the track was released on a few ‘Acid Jazz’ compilations.
While the editor for the current Levi’s campaign was waiting for an approval from Donna Summer’s people to use I Feel Love (which was denied as, allegedly, Ms Summer felt uncomfortable with the content of the ad, it featured a very convincing transvestite having a crafty shave in the back of a New York Yellow Cab, the editor proposed to the agency that they use TOTICO instead.
They agreed and the single was released again in 1995, when it achieved a top three position in the UK charts. (One chart said it was number 1, the other said it was number 3, so we’ll settle on number 2).
Freakpower went on to release another couple of singles from Drive Thru Booty, and Rush attained quite high chart positions across the world.
Fast forward 20 something years, and Ashley is back with a Freakpower band which is more energetic than the original (that’s what happens when you get a great guitarist in) and features some of the great original players from early Freakpower and Microgroove days.
The current line up is Ashley Slater on Vocals and Trombone, Dale Davis on bass, Tony Remy on Guitar, Carly Bryant on Keyboards, Adam Bushell on Drums, Kate Cameron and Scarlett Quinn on Backing Vocals.
Their set is powerful, energetic and lyrically, still annoyingly timely. Their new EP, the first since 1998, is out on April 27th 2018.