Robert Hokum & The Guv'nors Biography
Formed in 1988 by guitarist/vocalist Robert Hokum, The Guv’nors started out as a straight Blues band. However, the eclectic tastes of the band members began to show in the music and the 1991 album ‘Un’Natchl Blues’ fused funk, jazz, avant garde and the blues. One reviewer described it as having ‘dementia praecox’ (schizophrenia to you)!
1992’s ‘Strange But Blue’ saw the band getting further into the groove with several tracks having a substantial New Orleans funk influence.
The period from 1993 to 2003 was quite unsettled for the band with numerous personal changes – yes, you’ve guessed, musical and personal differences, drugs, jealous partners, over-inflated egos, bread heads, unreliability, rock’n’roll stoopidity etc. – but, hey that makes for a great band right? However, 1995’s ‘Funky Spanking of The Blues’ and 1999’s ‘Getting to The Point of the Get Down’ continued the development of a definitive Guv’nors sound and it was during this time that the use of Latin percussion became more prominent within the band.
The line-up stabilised in 2003 and the 2004 Bootleg of their performance at The Ealing Blues Festival shows a band more than capable of ‘cutting it live’ with the best of them.
‘Kickin’ It Back’ was released at the beginning of 2006 to excellent reviews in the Blues Press. Subsequent ‘star billings’ at the 100 Club and several Festivals (including the prestigious Brecon Jazz Festival) saw the band firmly established as one of the country’s leading (and possibly only!) exponents of ‘funk latin blues’.
Since 1989, Robert Hokum & The Guv’nors have been the hosts and closing act of The Ealing Blues Festival, an event that in 2009 had an attendance of 13,000 people.
If you really want to pigeonhole Robert Hokum & The Guv’nors music – how about ‘The result of a jam between The Blockheads, BB King, Santana’s percussion and George Clinton’…………..
"…unique take on the Blues…….their fusion of funk with Blues and Latin rhythms and huge percussion workouts is, for me, highly entertaining, very complex in many respects and very skilfully done." Ashwyn Smyth / Blues Matters & Digital Blues FM (review of The Guv’nors at Boogaloo Festival, 13 Nov 2005)
"...a very soulful, grooving, enthusiastic amalgamation of funky, latin influenced Sax/Guitar led Blues. Hot stuff! Highly Commendable!" Brian Harman / Blues in the South (Review of Guv’nors CD ‘Kickin’ It Back’ Jan 2006)
"Not the usual Brit-blues...but this is certainly a refreshingly different approach from a home-grown act. If you catch them at a Festival or show, just make sure you’ve bought your dancing shoes along…" Norman Darwen / Blues & Rhythm (Review of Guv’nors CD ‘Kickin it Back’ Feb 2006)
"‘Kickin’ it Back’ was my first acquaintance with the Guv’nors and turned out to be a very good one. The album is packed full of songs made for dancing…….The band are very tight………fresh and vibrant." Gordon Baxter / Blues in Britain (Review of Guv’nors CD ‘Kickin it Back’ Feb 2006)
"Their unique blend of Latin, funk and hip-hop rhythms, make their music a joyous event………percussive power and great rhythmic feel." Blues Matters Oct 2008 (review of Guvnology DVD)
"One of the more individual outfits on the current scene and this set is a fine showcase of their abilities." Norman Darwen’s BluesNews 2008 (review of Guvnology DVD)
Some notable gigs
The 100 Club
Band members biographies
Robert Hokum - Guitar / Vocals
Graham Wright - Bass
Tim Penn - Keyboards
Nigel Appleton - Drums
Tim Strange - Percussion
Sam Adams - Saxophone / Vocals