Name, where are you from?
Lack of Afro. Originally from Exeter in Devon, currently residing in sunny Ilfracombe.
Describe your style in three words?
Just good music.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
There are loads – Ocean Colour Scene in Torquay back in 1997/98 was amazing, Roy Ayers at Exeter Phoenix a few years back was incredible, but the most recent show I went to probably tops them all: Vulfpeck at London Shepherd’s Bush Empire last September. Brilliant musicianship, great song-writing and audience interaction. A band that don’t take themselves too seriously, but have got chops for days… Jack Stratton is the nerd’s nerd!
If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
Carole King as she’s probably my favourite songwriter (so just to be able to meet her really), and Sam & Dave as they were just a powerhouse of energy and excitement. They were so good that apparently even Otis Redding got nervous having to follow their set. You can imagine how good they were.
Which Subcultures have influenced you?
My Dad was a mod back in the day, and so naturally I was exposed to a lot of '50s & '60s Soul and R&B as well as 60’s British bands like The Small Faces, The Who & The Kinks. I sampled Steve Marriott of The Small Faces in one of my early tracks, and a lot of the mod crowd got into my music that way. Paulo Hewitt’s mod mantra of ‘Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances’ is a good way to live life I think.
If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Cannonball Adderley – an hour’s lesson from him on the alto saxophone (and his outlook on life in general) would be invaluable. He was one of the greatest alto players ever and such an intelligent and humble guy to go with it.
Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
There are two: The 100 Club on Oxford St in London simply because of the history of the place; the vibe when you walk down into that basement knowing all those legendary artists have played there before you. You can feel it, and it’s so inspiring. Plus the fact that the Lack of Afro live band sold it out back in May (after being a support band the year before). The Hoochie Coochie in Newcastle would be the other - the way they look after you as musicians when many other places don’t bother and the relaxed, friendly atmosphere of the place. You want to bring your A-game when you play there because they’re always a welcoming, knowledgeable crowd who are always up for a good night and who appreciate good music.
Your greatest hero or heroine in music?
Sam Cooke. He had one of the greatest voices in the history of soul music, often imitated but never bettered. He was also one of the first black guys to break from convention & take control of his own affairs. He owned his own masters and set up his own publishing company at a time when artists just didn’t do that - that took a lot of guts to go against the grain, especially in such a white-dominated industry. He was incredibly business savvy and way ahead of his time. An inspirational dude.
Adam Gibbons (aka Lack of Afro) is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer who revels in the full spectrum of mod culture to create new music with a timeless vibe. Look no further than his 2007 track 'Touch My Soul', featuring the vocals of Steve Marriot for an example of his deft touch. His latest song 'Back To The Day' features the soulful vocals of Elliott Cole.