INTRODUCING: Funeral Shakes

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Funeral Shakes are Watford’s answer to the classic punk fuelled rock that the likes of Against Me! and Rocket From The Crypt have introduced us to before. Forming from the ashes of The Smoking Hearts, Calvin Roffey (bass/vocals) and Simon Barker (guitar), the duo got together with Em Foster (guitar/vocals) from Nervus and Lee Barratt (drums) of Gallows fame. Funeral Shakes are pretty different to the rest of the pack in 2018 and are worth getting your ears around for guitar soaked singalongs and gelled back hair rock n’ roll.


Punk rock

Watford, UK

Rocket From The Crypt / Weezer / Against Me!

Funeral Shakes (2018) (Order)



FEBRUARY 14 – LONDON , Old Blue Last – W/LIRR
FEBRUARY 23 – HUDDERSFIELD, Parish – W/ Mr. Shiraz
FEBRUARY 24 – STAFFORD, Red Rum – W/Sonic Boom Six
MARCH 2 – CORBY, The White Hart
APRIL 4 – BRIDGWATER, The Cobblestones
APRIL 8 – DONCASTER, Woolpack Live
APRIL 9 – MANCHESTER, Night People
APRIL 10 – LONDON, Thousand Island
APRIL 11 – BRISTOL, The Louisiana
APRIL 24 – LONDON, Underworld W/ Cancer Bats
APRIL 25 – LONDON, Underworld W/ Cancer Bats
APRIL 26 – LONDON, Underworld W/ Cancer Bats
APRIL 27 – LONDON, Underworld W/ Cancer Bats


DP!: How would you describe yourselves to someone who has never heard Funeral Shakes before?
Calvin Roffey (Bass/Vocals): Imagine walking in to the finest cocktail bar in town, you’re dressed to impress and the bar is dimly lit and inviting. You walk over and order yourself a Funeral Shake, equal parts Rocket From The Crypt and Against Me!, a splash of Captain Everything!, served over finely crushed surf guitar with a hint of Mrs Magician around the rim.

DP!: How did the band form?
Calvin: Simon and I have been playing and writing music together for over a decade, we started at school and then formed The Smoking Hearts together. We came back from a European tour with that band and felt the desire to do something a little different, more melodic, and started writing songs at home. We didn’t have anyone in mind to be in the band, but we wrote the songs with a computer playing drums, Simon playing both guitar parts and myself doing bass and vocals.
We went to see Metz play in St Albans at The Horn, and ran in to our friend, Lee. We’d toured with Gallows many years ago, and got chatting about music. He asked about our current plans, and we told him about Funeral Shakes. We sent him the demos and liked it, so purely by coincidence we found ourselves a real drummer, and the computer drummer was out of the band.
Em joining was similarly lucky. Em was on tour with a different band, and I think they had a problem with their van or their driver or something similar. I got a phone call from one of their band members asking if I knew anyone with a van. So I went out in our old band’s van to drive them. One night, I was driving and Em and I did a bit of a demo trade off. They showed me a bunch of Nervus demos, I showed Em some Funeral Shakes demos. I asked if they knew any guitar players that could sing and our final piece of the puzzle clicked in to place.

DP!: What plans do you have for the future?
Calvin: Just to play as many shows as we can, put ourselves in front of as many people as we can. We have some shows in February and early March, a headline tour in April, then we support Cancer Bats at their Underworld residency in Camden for 4 nights. After that, we’re hoping to play some festivals across the summer. Beyond that, you’ll have to wait and see.

DP!: Which new bands are you listening to right now?
Calvin: We get asked this question a lot, and it’s one of the hardest to answer. I’ve been a bit out of the loop and I’m quite often a bit late to the party when it comes to new bands. Our friends Gold Key have a record out that’s really good, I saw a cool band called Newt last night in Cambridge with Hot Snakes, they were fun. USA Nails impressed me when I saw them a month or so ago too.

DP!: Which bands do you aspire to and why?
Calvin: I’m not sure we aspire to anyone. We just try to make the music that we enjoy making and listening to. There are certainly a lot of bands that we find cool or interesting and have shaped our sound though. The Hives, RFTC, Hot Snakes, Against Me!, Captain Everything!, Mrs Magician, Weezer, all have their part to play in the make up of Funeral Shakes. That said, we all listen to some mega heavy bands too that you perhaps would never know just by listening to us. Take inspiration wherever you can, but create something that you’re proud of.

DP!: What’s the stand out moment in your career so far?
Calvin: Each show has just been getting better and better. Finding a groove as a band, a natural flow, a rhythm within the band, that’s been the fun part. As far as a highlight, our last show at Bedford Esquires with Gold Key was probably my favourite moment so far. Everything clicked, there was a big room full of people, people were singing along, we helped raise money for Cancer Research UK, and we had a great time doing it. It’s an exciting time and a great feeling when it all comes together, and it’s starting to shape up. Cheers!

Funeral Shakes‘s debut self-titled is available February 16th via Silent Cult Records, and you can pre-order it here.

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