The original band members met in 2016, having being ejected from a ska rehearsal session for “being too damn funky”. Faced with this dilemma, founder Daniel Bardan decided there was only one thing for it - form a band of their own, with the goal of making people dance, and the Hornstars were born. The band quickly started writing their own songs, and was soon bringing their original sound to Melbourne’s bustling live scene.
Powered by a driving rhythm section - Joey Mount (drums), Mike Holloway (bass), Rob D’Alessandro (keys), Mark Morand (guitar) and Eric Morand (percussion); overlaid by the tight, gritty horns of Daniel Bardan (trumpet), Bruce Cousins (trombone) and Russell B Myers (tenor sax); this potent mix is topped with the catchy, melodic vocals of Clancy Cullen. Their sound is rooted in the traditions of classic funk and soul, blending in healthy doses of old school R&B, a pinch of reggae, and even a drop of classic rock, with the ever present horn section adding colour and vibe that is hard to match.
The band’s original songs are certified party starters - get along to a gig and you’ll see why. Irresistible grooves combined with funky horn arrangements and exuberant vocals create a heady mix that can’t help but draw people onto the dancefloor – and keep them there. The band knows how to work a crowd, and leaves audiences wanting more.
The Hornstars have funk’d the house at venues like Globe Alley, Giant Steps, Bar Open, the Spotted Mallard and the Exeter Hotel and have been a regular fixture at Northcote’s Open Studio. Successful gigs in Adelaide in 2018 were greeted with return invitations in 2019 and 2020.
Consolidating their line-up in 2019, and with the release of their debut album set for March 2020, The Hornstars are ready to take it to the audiences of Melbourne and beyond.