A brief history of Funk Conspiracy
Newcastle based wedding band Funk Conspiracy< has built an excellent reputation through many years of hard work.
The band was founded in Newcastle upon Tyne on the eve of the millenium, 31st December 1999 by a group of friends from the North East with a shared love for funky music. As band leader, bassist Richard Owen took a central role in developing the band and guiding it towards the present day success as a live wedding band.
Over the following year the group developed a set consisting of original material and covers of classic jazz funk tracks which was performed at venues around Newcastle and the northeast.
The addition of vocalist Susan Hamilton and Saxophonist Jess Gooch brought a new dimension to the band, making a total of 7 members. This led to two successful years of gigs at many venues, functions and festivals both locally and as far as the French Alps. A number of original and covers demo recordings were made during this time, achieving critical acclaim from local and national press.
Highlights from this period include winning an Orange talent search two years running and headlining Edinburgh Festival Fringe Sunday with an audience of 2000 people.
Funk Conspiracy band 2004 - 2009.
A New Direction
2004 saw a change in the line-up of Funk Conspiracy and a new focus as a professionally presented function band. A new set was carefully selected to please a wide spectrum of taste and age groups, yet still remain loyal to the essence of funk music. Several busy years of wedding and function work followed, whilst the original material was moved to a separate band project, Groovenik.
The Second Decade
Long time members Susan Hamilton, Scott Sweeney and Paul Wheaton left the band at the beginning of 2010. Through many years of hard work and fun together they had helped to get the band to get where it was, but sadly it was time to move on.
Vocalist Brooke Macarthur and guitarist Athol Cassidy joined the band to replace the leaving members. With a new 5 piece standard line-up and an expanded repertoire, Funk Conspiracy moved into 2010 with more funk than ever.
Unfortunately the time with Brooke was short lived, due to personal problems in her life she was unable to commit to the band anymore. Business continued as usual with cover from two fantastic singers, Zita Frith and Lindsay Hannon. In June 2010 Zita was able to commit as the lead vocalist for the band.
From May 2011 Funk Conspiracy welcomed Mike Watts as the new guitarist in the band. An exceptional and experienced performer, Mike also brings an added dimension to the music with additional lead and backing vocals.
In January 2013 we were proud to welcome the amazing Brooke MacArthur as our new main vocalist. Zita went to focus on her original music project Scarlet Street but continues as a deputy vocalist for Funk Conspiracy.
Summer 2013 marked the departure of saxophonist Paul Gowland and the arrival of Justin Radford to take on soulful saxophone duties.
September 2015 saw the start of a new era, as founding member and bassist Richard sold the business to guitarist Mike Watts.
The funk continues.