“Da Finks? Da business!” – Dr. John Cooper Clarke
It’s that Mod aesthetic. Once it bites, it bites down hard and it bites down deep. It just keeps going. It just don’t ever leave you alone. One such kid who got bitten was Dave Formula. Then going by his actual, more earthbound, surname ‘Tomlinson’.
Back in Manchester 1966, dressing snappily, adoring R&B music and with a 27” waist, our young protagonist stormed out of the electrical appliances at Kendal’s Department Store, never to return to regular employment, shouting back to his now ex-boss, “That’s it! I quit. I’m off. See you on Top Of The Pops…”
A youthful arrogant boast maybe, but, remarkably, within two weeks he darn well was. Dave, freshly installed on keyboards with his latest beat group ‘St. Louis Union’, was tearing up the hit parade with a workout of The Beatles’ ‘Girl’.
Flip the 45 and you’d discover a barn-storming 2 minutes 8 seconds retread of Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’. Tamla Motown was all well a good, but for those that knew, Stax / Volt was where it was at. It finally stalled at #11, but by that time St. Louis Union had become the in-house band at the now fabled ‘Twisted Wheel’ soul club in Manchester, and rivalled The Small Faces as the Mod band. While Dave changed his surname to Formula and went to receive critical acclaim for his work with ground breaking post-punk pioneers ‘Magazine’, and later commercial success with New Romantic figureheads ‘Visage’.
But like I say, it bites down hard and it bites down deep. Dave, right now, for the sheer hell of it, has returned to those halcyon regulation ½” turn-up days, with a new, Hammond organ led, beat combo, ‘The Finks’. It’s yer classic groove-organ outfit. Stylish, snappy psychedelic soul with a sharp-eyed dash of funk… where the Meters of New Orleans meet Booker T. in Memphis with a touch of Jimmy Smith thrown in for good measure.
The Finks are currently up and at ‘em right now, and are out on their own going around the towns, waking the people, and ever so once in a while with the mighty Dr. John Cooper Clarke – no stranger himself to the pulling power of the mod aesthetic, then a Twisted Wheel regular and today still with a 27” waist.
Their debut musical biscuit, ‘Live Fink Funk’, is 10 tracks in all including ‘Cissy Strut’; ‘The Liquidator’; ‘The Cat’; ‘Time Is Tight’; ‘Little Old Money Maker’; ‘Funky Folks Cha-Cha’; ‘Funky Miracle’; ‘One Mint Julep’; ‘Pungee’; ‘Chicken Pox’. Bonus!
Played and recorded live in one take, and produced with a minimum of overdubs by The Finks themselves in Fink-O-Phonic Sound. It’s your new favourite record. So buy one. Buy two! Impress your friends.