The Hornstars. Funky. Danceable. Quirky (have you seen that video?). While they may not take themselves too seriously, they are serious about creating a funky good time. The Hornstars will put the cut in your strut and the glide in your stride.
The Hornstars sound is big, brassy and bold. The lineup is fronted by the charismatic Clancy Cullen a jazz-trained vocalist with undeniable stage presence. The horn section - Daniel Bardan (trumpet), Bruce Cousins (trombone), Russell B Myers (tenor sax) adds the sass and dance moves that only live horns can bring. The rhythm section - Joey Mount (drums), Mike Holloway (bass), Peter Bonett (keys), Gareth Durant (guitar) and Eric Morand (alto sax and percussion) drive the the funky beat. Each adds their own influences to the mix. Jazz, blues, soul, reggae - it may not all be funk as we know it, but it is definitely funky.
The Hornstars formed in 2016, so the story goes, after founding members were kicked out of a ska band for allegedly “playing on the one”. The band quickly recruited their 9-piece lineup and confected a set of catchy and danceable songs, which they took to the pubs and bars of Melbourne and beyond, and eventually released as their debut album in March 2020.
Over the next couple of years the band’s writing evolved, sometimes reflecting the challenging times the world was facing (witness the hard funk grooves of "No Gigs" and "Half Way There"), and at others expressing aspirations for brighter future ("Touch", "Say Goodbye"). Emerging between lockdowns in 2021, the new songs were greeted with an enthusiastic reception and sold out shows.
With their second album Half Way There released in August 2022, the Hornstars are regulars on the Melbourne music scene. As well as packing out local venues, the Hornstars have proven themselves on bigger stages with opening slots for Ska legends The Allniters at the Corner Hotel, Disco Superstars Boney M at the Palais Theatre, and a feature slot at the St Kilda Blues Festival. It's little wonder The Hornstars were dubbed "a big band with a big future" by AMRAP's Cameron Mengenoni. And while we may be living in uncertain times, here is one thing to be sure of - The Hornstars are where the party's at, and everyone's invited.