Manchester jazz-funkers Secret Night Gang bring their bold debut album to Brownswood Recordings. Led by the soulful vocals of Kemani Anderson and featuring saxophonist Callum Connell’s pin-sharp orchestrations, Secret Night Gang is a joyful slice of summer-soul goodness that nods to the vibrant history of jazz-inflected soul, while reflecting today’s genre blending sensibilities in a heady mix of gospel, R&B, souljazz and more.
Manchester natives Anderson and Connell met aged seven playing football in Fallowfield, to the south of the city. After briefly losing touch during their teenage years, they reunited during high school music lessons, eventually forming a promising songwriting duo. All the while though, they kept their writing exploits under wraps.
The duo cut their teeth on Manchester’s lively jam scene – there they met the band’s original bassist, Stu Whitehead, forming a trio that jammed in an Old Trafford lockup under the cover of darkness. More exposure led to the acquisition of drummer Myke Wilson (Corinne Bailey Rae, 52nd Street) and producer/engineer Yvonne ‘D’Alchemiss’ Ellis. The core band now features long-time Wilson compatriot Juneroy on bass, and the Nile Rodgers-adjacent rhythm guitar work of Jack Duckham. Secret Night Gang also features guest appearances from a host of Manchester’s finest, with Mali Hayes and Doreen Edwards providing sumptuous backing vocals.