Flamingo Pier release their new song, How 2 Feel and the Auckland-based disco-boogie band has an EP and tour on the way.
Here’s the blurb with more:
Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland disco-boogie outfit Flamingo Pier announce their new Beneath The Neon EP out September 1st on prolific New York-based dance label Razor-N-Tape (Midnight Magic, Tigerbalm, Frank Booker). The band also hits the road for a global release tour with shows in Bali, UK, New York, Mexico, and New Zealand to celebrate. Tickets from Banishedmusic.com.
Lead-off single ‘How 2 Feel’ shows a clubbier side of the band, with a pulsating house rhythm track and layers of angular synth stabs, vocal charts, and a standout trumpet solo from Jack Thirtle (Avantdale Bowling Club, Dave Dobbyn). Luke Walker of Flamingo Pier, shares. “We wanted to create something big enough to play to a few thousand people but with a warm and soulful vibe.”
Known for parties in East London and their massive homegrown Waiheke Festival, as well as previous releases on UK’s tastemaker Soundway Records, the Kiwi collective are set to deliver a trio of new songs that solidify and expand their signature danceable blue-eyed indie-soul sound. ‘Beneath the Neon’ and ‘Remedy’ are more familiar Flamingo Pier territory, upbeat indie disco anthems that boast incendiary vocal hooks, funky guitar work, and crisp production by Luke Walker. Rounding out the EP are remixes by Chicago house legend Glenn Underground, and Razor-N-Tape’s co-head JKriv, whose mix features a guest appearance by Afro-boogie royalty Steve Monite.
RNT’s JKriv shares his excitement about the release, saying, “I actually met the guys for the first time at the Flamingo Pier Waiheke Festival this year. I’ve been a big fan of FP’s earlier releases, and it turned out they had an EP ready that needed a home. Everything just clicked, and we’re all super stoked to be working together on this release!”
Walker adds: “We’ve been big fans of RNT since we started as a collective, and we’re so excited to be releasing with them. This new EP is our sweet spot — all upbeat and playable club and dance-ready tracks. Pure fun and good times.”
Global EP Release Tour – NZ from Oct 6th –
Tickets from Banished Music
About Flamingo Pier – Words by Bill Brewster
Born and raised in New Zealand but schooled in London, Flamingo Pier may well be the southern hemisphere’s best kept secret. But with one album and some serious live playing under their tightly-worn belts, that may be about to end, as they plot a course back towards Europe and beyond for summer 2023.
Flamingo Pier are Luke Walker (the DJ), Dom Jones and Brad Craig (the musical chops), a rather perfect combo that you can hear in their music, with its electronic heft weighted lightly with tropical sounds atop, influences pouring in from all directions: Masters At Work, Khruangbin, Prince, Ron Trent.
Shot through with sunshine and festival-friendly joy, their roots are in the somewhat more gritty environs of Hackney Wick, formerly a somewhat desolate spot in the East End of London that has been revived by a new generation of creatives (with a soupçon of aid from the London Olympics in 2012), among them Luke, Brad and Dom. “We were all living in this warehouse in Hackney Wick and started DJing with each other at home and playing music together,” says Luke. “Originally, Brad was over as part of another band who’d been brought over by a record label. But we had Counter Café as this incredible little spot on the canal there.”
They started throwing monthly Friday parties at the café. All the parties sold out. Suitably encouraged, they decided to throw a festival on the beautiful island of Waiheke, a 30 minute scoot from Auckland, as you do. It was only one day, in an olive grove, but they attracted 700 optimistic souls with a line-up that included Marcus Marr, Late Night Tuff Guy and, naturally, Flamingo Pier, which also happened to be the name of the festival. It was so much fun, they’re still doing it (these days it’s three days and a tad larger).
Their excellent self-titled debut album on Soundway fell foul of ill-starred timing, coming out during a brutal Covid-driven clusterfuck. “I remember the main single, ‘Eternal’, which is a big uplifting house track,” says Luke, “came out when London went into a major lockdown. No one was really interested in euphoria that week…” However, silver linings and all that. Since then, they’ve had a few synch licenses on Netflix shows like Good Girls, Partner Track and The One and their numbers on Spotify are equally impressive, with both ‘Hold It’ and ‘Tripping Up’ gliding past the 2m. streams mark.
Out of adversity comes joy, though, and their live performing has scaled new heights thanks to New Zealand’s lockdown-averse approach and a season of heavy live touring. At one stage, they’d grown to a nine-piece behemoth, coming on like a Kiwi Earth, Wind & Fire – it’s now scaled back to five. “We’ve definitely stepped up the live element,” observes Luke, “and because Brad and Dom are both from a live background, this is their natural environment. It means we can do something that’s more interesting than just playing the usual DJ set.” The end result was a season of headline tours in their native country, with battle-hardened performances that have brought the album alive in a new setting.
Not ones to sit around waiting for someone to discover them, they’ve also been throwing parties in Auckland, with a Sunday series called Afternoon Delight with buddy Frank Booker, who also collaborated with the boys on Pleasure, another successful weekly party held in the country’s oldest strip club (now nightclub). Both sellouts.
You can almost hear New Zealand in their music, the sound of Kiwi tropicalia. “Our environment influences our attitude. We’re more relaxed here. There’s a lot more just being by the ocean, in native bush, in nature. I think that translates into more joyful, fun, percussive music.” Rooted in the underground, but with a commercial nous that suggests they are capable of progressing much further up the greasy pole that is the music industry, they are ambitious to move forward, to improve, to get better, and with a new studio setup, they’re determined to make it happen, primed for a new European assault in summer 2023. “We’re trying to get to the point where we’re releasing consistently incredible music.” Amen to that.