FEDERATION of the Disco Pimp solidified their place as Scotland’s premier funk band after a triumphant performance at the Glasgow Jazz Festival last Saturday. The seven-piece played to a near-packed pop-up venue at Merchant Square on the same week they announced the imminent release of their first live album, No Place Like Home.

The Glasgow group, comprising keyboards, guitar, bass, drums, two saxophones and a trumpet, have been causing a stir with their exhilarating live shows. As their sound has become increasingly more groove-based by each album, the band are starting to receive exposure to an entirely new audience.

“It was really hot and sweaty, which is perfect for our kind of music,” says keyboardist and chief songwriter Marco Cafolla.

“It couldn’t have gone better – everyone dancing, the band incredibly tight, and we were able to reach a completely new audience, judging by the faces I saw in the crowd.”

The opportunity to reach out to a new crowd has proved vital for the elaborately named collection of top-notch musicians. This is clear by their decision to film and release on video a performance at this year’s Celtic Connections. Being a part of a funk band in Scotland may seem like a fun proposition, but Cafolla explains that breaking down the barriers is a rigorous task.

He says: “A lot of people still stereotype funk as 1970s disco music and envision the afros and the big-collared shirts.

“It’s a style that we don’t really adhere to because it’s so dated. If you listen to any James Brown record, you’ll realise how timeless the style actually is.

“When I see songs like Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk doing well in the mainstream now, I don’t even feel like I should be that dismissive about it anymore.

“It’s the same with Nile Rodgers performing with Daft Punk – if it leads people to discovering Funkadelic, Quincy Jones or whoever, then brilliant.”

Federation of the Disco Pimp certainly pay homage to their heroes. Their sets feature covers of James Brown and Stevie Wonder, which Cafolla sees as a valuable exercise in terms of getting a new crowd on side. The band’s own music is quite distinct though, with a driving rhythm section and an experimental “jam band” feel that recalls Frank Zappa-esque fusion groups like Snarky Puppy.

“We’re quite intense for funk, definitely,” says Cafolla. “Zappa and Herbie Hancock are a big influence. When we see folk in the crowd bobbing their heads and rocking out, it feels amazing. We welcome all head-bangers to our gigs.

“It was great to see that at the Jazz Festival in particular. There’s perhaps a slight snobbery associated with the jazz scene these days, but if you go to a New York jazz club, you’ll actually experience something closer to what we do. There’s no beard-stroking pretentiousness – they’re smiling as they play.”

There’s an authenticity to the Federation sound that demonstrates the band’s commitment to the roots of the genre and they recorded their latest studio album, Inamorata, in New York. Cafolla says the trip was the “best thing he’s ever been apart of”. However, their new live album is a different beast still.

“The production on Inamorata was sonically incredible, but we still see ourselves as a primarily live band,” says Cafolla. “No Place Like Home captures a completely different energy and shows that we could emulate what we did on the album in one take.”

Their decision to record their live opus in Scotland demonstrates a sense of pride that Cafolla admits is an undercurrent in everything they do as a band.

“I’d not call us a ‘Scottish funk band’ – we’re not going to be throwing any bagpipes on our records – but we’re also quick to big-up our Scottishness. The main theme of our music is solidarity and self-belief, which is what the classic funk records were all about. I’m not saying anything new necessarily, but it’s our most prominent lyrical theme.”

That said, Cafolla is quick to dismiss notions of a funk “scene” in Scotland, as evidenced by recent sold-out shows in Shetland and Bute. “The scene here is in its infancy at best,” Cafolla told The National. “There are a few bands like us that play funk music, but it’s mostly just bands dipping their toes into it. It’s hard to just throw us on a funk bill because we’d be playing with the same few bands every time, so we have to keep it varied.

“This band is my life though. I believe in every note. Every penny I saved went towards our first album, and it’s only over the past six months we’ve started to see a return. I really hope people read this and are encouraged to collaborate or get involved, not just for the sake of it, but because they love the music as much as we do. I know the talent is definitely out there.”

FOTDP’s No Place Like Home is out on July 27. The album is ‘name your price’ and you can download audio, video or both.For more information go