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Uncle Frank - 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 3 / 4 / 2014

Uncle Frank - 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester


At a charity event at the Leicester Tigers, Dave Goodwin watches hip-hop/jazz soul duo Uncle Frank play a remarkable set

A huge charity bash which drew in the likes of Phil Tuffnell and Willie Thorne as after dinner speakers and a plethora of other big names played host to a rather strange ending. Black tie, suits and ball gowns are not the normal garb you would associate with Frank Benbini and Naim Cortezzi. Not that these accomplished musicians aren't worthy of the style on parade here. In fact in my humble opinion they are actually greater than anything...well, just anything really. The MC struggled to get noticed but by the time he had got to introducing Uncle Frank the crowd had turned their attentions to the two chaps who stuck out like a sore thumb. A nice sore thumb though. The baseball-hatted, Benbini was one of the Fun Lovin Criminals, while Naim Cortezzi is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and session musician who has played on various albums. Hailing from Leicester, they didn't have far to come tonight. As Frank admitted before the show, this wasn't his normal environment. It was, however, for a worthy cause, the hosts trying to raise over £130k to build a holiday home for kids with terminal disease. They cut straight into 'Big Brother', which saw Naim on guitar and Frank cruising around the small stage. The crowd all of a sudden hushed and made their way to the dancefloor to gain ultimate enjoyment from the boys to their right. A little later they were joined in somewhat Kid Creole style by two dancing girls, and Uncle Frank were off and running. Naim once again showed his considerable deftness on his guitar before opting for the microphone a little later. Somehow the glitz of the affair blended in nicely with the antics on stage, and all too soon it was over as after half an hour they had to bring their hip-hop tinged jazz soul to an end, leaving the amazed onlookers crying for more. Uncle Frank has had me jumping up and down with excitement since Huey Morgan sung their praises when I interviewed him and his band Huey and the New Yorkers at the Rescue Rooms last year. They can be seen in various haunts around the country, but you will have to be quick off the mark. Me, myself and I won't be the only ones to tap into the diverse duo that is Uncle Frank and keep it a secret for long.

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Uncle Frank - 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester

Uncle Frank - 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester

Uncle Frank - 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester

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