Uncle Frank will be playing a special show at The Lancaster School in Leicester.
Over the past year the school has been almost entirely rebuilt,
so, to celebrate this the band will be playing for students, staff and parents.
You can now download the Uncle Frank single Step Into My Room from the following stores on mp3.
This package also features the amazing Boy Kid Cloud remix of Step Into My Room and Gravy Baby
Click on the names to listen and purchase
The Uncle Frank ‘Step Into My Room’ tour featured heavily on BBC 1 news today to a huge audience of 6,500 000
Watch it in HD on BBC’s facebook page here
The reporters followed the band to Daniella’s house n Stourbridge. Birmingham
Uncle Frank went into overdrive on Friday with appearances on BBC West Midlands breakfast radio show
and BBC television doing a special feature on the bands’ performance at competition winner Daniella’s house.
The regional paper did a big feature on the day here:
Top live review of the Bodie Hodges Foundation show we performed at right here:
http://www.pennyblackmusic.co.uk/MagSitePages/Article.aspx?id=7362 or just read below.
Uncle Frank : 1880 Suite, Leicester Tigers, Leicester
Author: Dave Goodwin
A huge charity bash which drew in the likes of Phil Tuffnell and Willie Thorne as after dinner speakers and a plethora of other big names played host to a rather strange ending. Black tie, suits and ball gowns are not the normal garb you would associate with Frank Benbini and Naim Cortezzi. Not that these accomplished musicians aren’t worthy of the style on parade here. In fact in my humble opinion they are actually greater than anything…well, just anything really.
The MC struggled to get noticed but by the time he had got to introducing Uncle Frank the crowd had turned their attentions to the two chaps who stuck out like a sore thumb. A nice sore thumb though. The baseball-hatted, Benbini was one of the Fun Lovin Criminals, while Naim Cortezzi is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and session musician who has played on various albums. Hailing from Leicester, they didn’t have far to come tonight. As Frank admitted before the show, this wasn’t his normal environment. It was, however, for a worthy cause, the hosts trying to raise over £130k to build a holiday home for kids with terminal disease.
They cut straight into ‘Big Brother’, which saw Naim on guitar and Frank cruising around the small stage. The crowd all of a sudden hushed and made their way to the dancefloor to gain ultimate enjoyment from the boys to their right. A little later they were joined in somewhat Kid Creole style by two dancing girls, and Uncle Frank were off and running. Naim once again showed his considerable deftness on his guitar before opting for the microphone a little later. Somehow the glitz of the affair blended in nicely with the antics on stage, and all too soon it was over as after half an hour they had to bring their hip-hop tinged jazz soul to an end, leaving the amazed onlookers crying for more. Uncle Frank has had me jumping up and down with excitement since Huey Morgan sung their praises when I interviewed him and his band Huey and the New Yorkers at the Rescue Rooms last year.
They can be seen in various haunts around the country, but you will have to be quick off the mark. Me, myself and I won’t be the only ones to tap into the diverse duo that is Uncle Frank and keep it a secret for long.
Great start to the Step Into My Room Tour! Hosted by The Reverend Chunky but Funky!
With a readership and viewing of over 45000 people the first gig which took place in the Reverend’s front room ended up being broadcast to 1000′s!
Uncle Frank are delighted to announce the Winners of the “Step into My Room” competition. All winners have now been notified and spoken to by Frank and Naim personally.
The winners are:-
Follow the competition tour, video and the latest news on our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. Thanks to everyone who entered.
From Sunday 16th March 2014 at 8pm to Thursday 27th March 2014, Uncle Frank will launch a national competition, giving everyone the opportunity of winning an exclusive personal and private show with the band. The competition is open to anyone over 18yrs of age & resident in the United Kingdom.
Entering this once in a lifetime competition to have Uncle Frank ‘Step in to your Room’, couldn’t be easier. It’s free to enter, and there is only 1 question to answer which is -
“What is the title of their forthcoming Album launched on April 28th 2014?”
If you know, then simply email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. (If your are not sure of the answer then check out Uncle Frank’s Website, Facebook or Twitter pages.) From all the correct entries, 12 lucky individuals will have Uncle Frank and the ‘Frankettes’ (the bands dancers), visit them in their hometown and play an exclusive one hour session for them, by stepping in to their very own living room. It’s the ultimate party opportunity.
Frank and Naim will perform songs from their new album released by MITA Records, ensuring that everyone ends the evening with a smile that will last for days and days.
On Sunday 16th March we will announce a very, very exciting competition.
We will be attempting something no ones ever tried before and we know you will love it.
A special video with competition details will be released through social media and on the front page of our website on Sunday
Click the image to view what’s to come in 2014 for Uncle Frank with an exclusive preview of ‘Desperate Town’ an epic track from the forthcoming Uncle Frank debut album on MITA records. Some scenes from this shoot were taken during a freak snow storm overnight in Leicester.
Naim Cortazzi who co-wrote and produced the song with Frank said
“Big Dog (Frank) rings me at 1.30am and said “bro, look outside… I see a million dollar movie set!” All we had available at the time was our mate Peri’s 7 mega pixel camera, but the snow was so bright and fell so thick it didn’t matter, every shot looked money!”
The rest is history!
Watch the trailer here!
Fabulous pictures of Frank and Naim performing with Huey and The New Yorkers at the sell out BluesFest in The Albert Hall taken by Ashley Southall (Immersed photography).
Chillin’ with some their all time hero’s such as Ronnie Wood (Rolling Stones) and Bobby Womack who was honoured with a lifetime achievement award
Uncle Frank is performing with Huey Morgan for this unbelievable show at The Albert Hall on November 1st. Headlining the event is The Ronnie Wood Band, Van Morrisson and Mick Hucknall….celebrating The 3rd International Blues Festival. Day strollers and evening tickets may still be available …see link!
It has won Emmy, Golden Globe and British Academy awards and is watched by millions of fantasy fans across the world. Now, Game of Thrones is about to get the Uncle Frank treatment.
The Leicester singer has been handpicked to appear in the hit HBO series and will be flying out to the set in Northern Ireland for filming in the next six weeks. Check out the article at the link below.
We always enjoy chatting to Frank Benbini, here at The Week. Never afraid to speak his mind and happy to regale us with an anecdote or 10 about his rather extraordinary life as one third of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, or one half of Leicester duo Uncle Frank, we always know we’re not going to be given any PR spin nonsense.
And, behind the bling and his larger-than-life on-stage persona, he’s actually a bit of a softie really.
“I’m like anyone, I just want to be loved,” he tells The Week. “I make a big effort with everything I do, because I want people to enjoy my shows, whether they’re Uncle Frank shows, FLC shows or anything else.”
“You certainly can. This is the first thing that we’ve put out in a long time, four or five years, so it’s going to be a special party.
“We’ve put two new songs on the EP and there’ll be an album out, probably in early February, so this is a little teaser.”
The EP, Irresistible Me, will be handed out to everyone who attends the launch gig, which is being held in the rather impressive surroundings of the Guildhall.
Your £5 entry fee will also get you a glass of Champagne and, um, like any good gig, a Krispy Kreme doughnut.
He knows how to put on a spread, does Frank.
“We didn’t want to do something normal. Uncle Frank always tries to do something a bit different, we’re kind of known for that,” he says.
“We try to make it a proper show. We’ve played at all the usual venues so we thought let’s make this one special, let’s do it at the Guildhall. Not only is it one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in town, it’s also got an almost regal feel.
“We’re really going to go for it. We’ve a really special stand-up comic who will open up for us.
“We’re trying to make it different. I do want to do something special.”
Frank will also have his lovely dancing ladies, “The Frankettes” – you might remember them from his main stage Summer Sundae performance in August – gracing the stage.
Fans will also get the chance to grill him and his partner in grime, Naim Cortazzi, in a Q&A session half-way through the show. “People have already been sending me some questions and they’re quite funny,” says Frank.
“They range from, ‘How many baseball caps do you own?’ to ‘Have you really got a house in Hawaii?’ to ‘How many girls have you slept with?’
Cue a two-second pause, and then: “I’m not going to answer that one.”
Whatever you think about Frank and his music, it’s sure to be an entertaining night.
And he’s pleased to find the time to put some work into Uncle Frank during a bit of a break from FLC (the band celebrate their 20th anniversary next year, so are planning some bigger shows then).
“We just played our last show, for Arthur’s Day, which is organised by Guinness. They hold it every year and get some big names to play all over Ireland. This year, there was us, Mumford and Sons, Primal Scream and Fatboy Slim.
“People didn’t know who was playing where, so we got snuck in backstage in a little pub somewhere and the people there only found out when the curtain came up.
“We’re going to take a break now as next year it’s the 20th anniversary and we’ll do something big.
“I’m always so busy – either with FLC or Radio Riddler, which is a reggae project I do with (FLC bassist) Fast.
“I got back from New York a few days ago, I was under Brooklyn Bridge shooting a new video for Huey’s solo record.
“Next month, I play Paradiso in Amsterdam, with Radio Riddler. I also want to do an Uncle Frank video, for Something Something, on the new album.
“It’s a sweet song about this guy who’s in love’ with this girl but she’s not sure if she loves him the same. I want to shoot it as a Bollywood video; I want to be the main character and have all these girls in saris doing some crazy dancing around me. That’s my next venture.”
So there’s a lot going on, then?
“Me and Na’im are both busy people. But now we’ve both said that enough is enough.
“When we played Summer Sundae for the past two years we’ve had people coming up and saying, ‘For God’s sake, Frank, when are you going to put a new record out?’ But I just have so many commitments.
“So now, I’m kind of apologising to people that they’ve had to wait so long, and that’s why I’m throwing this party.
“You only have to do the maths to realise we’re not going to make any money on this, but it’s our way of saying sorry and thanks.
“I’m so excited. I’ve got to decide what to wear now – that’s the biggest decision of all.”
I’ve been with the Fun Lovin’ Criminals for 10 years now. Before that, I was in my own bands and I worked at Rock City. in Nottingham on Friday and Saturday nights. It was in the mid-90s when, one night, FLC were on and I was introduced to them afterwards.
We became friends pretty much straight away and did bits of work together over the years. It eventually got to the stage where, when their previous drummer left, they wanted me to join.
Music is all I’ve ever really wanted to do since I was small. I write and sing and play guitar, bass and piano, as well as drums. And as well as FLC, I have the two Leicester bands I’m in with my mate Naim Cortazzi – Uncle Frank and Fatal Star.
It’s the 20th anniversary of FLC this year, so we’ll probably do something big. But I’m always busy, I’ve always got something to do.
My life is very different to how it used to be. I went from being cramped up driving a bright yellow Ford transit van to gigs playing to four or five people, to travelling first class on every airline you could mention to play to tens of thousands of people all over the planet.
It’s very easy for all these amazing things to feel like normal, everyday life sometimes. You’ll find yourself moaning and then have to remind yourself how lucky you are – and I do know I am.
I’ve been with FLC for a decade but before that there was 10 years of working really, really hard.
I do look back and I’m really proud of everything I’ve done.
This work has tremendous highs but there are killer lows as well.
I’ve been in a big party band for a long time and I’ve done things I shouldn’t have done: drugs, late nights, bad business decisions. Getting sued for hundreds of thousands of pounds isn’t fun. I’ve been ripped off and it’s horrible.
As far as music’s concerned, I love it. I love the fact that people come out to listen to Us. I went into a band that already had an amazing following but things like when I played the main stage at Summer Sundae with Uncle Frank earlier this year, seeing all those people having an amazing time was brilliant, too.
Even though I come off very tongue in cheek, people can see that I give it everything.
I’m not really like my act, how you see me on stage. I’m just like everyone else – I just want to be loved.
I charge people to watch me work so I want them to love it. I put a lot of effort in.
A lot of people say to me that what I do isn’t really work, which makes me laugh.
It’s not easy. You spend half your year with people who can’t get enough of you, and the other half they don’t want to know.
That’s why most artists are absolute fruitcakes, because life is like a yo-yo. I look at some of my friends – for example, I’ve got a friend who makes and sells cupcakes, and I think she’s got the best job ever. She’s always smiling and always got money coming in.
I’m sure she’s got her problems – we’ve all got problems – but she’s got stability.
I don’t get a lot of new music. I see music as entertainment; my favourite artists are people like Prince and Elvis, people who come out on stage and they’re dressed up and they stand there and really perform. Now, most acts are just someone twanging on a guitar.
You’ve got all this upper-class folk stuff like your Mumford and Sons – it’s all right – and then your dance stuff with people just standing looking at the floor and pressing play – it’s all right.
It’s not wow, though, is it? You see someone like Prince on stage and you’re like, wow.
The minute we get on stage I want people’s heads to go up and their eyebrows to lift, before we’ve even said anything.
Some people think what I do with Uncle Frank is stupid and that’s fair enough; go and see something else. But the people who do come to see me, they always leave smiling.
I kind of toy with it a bit. I like to make it look a little bit ridiculous in parts because then that just makes the music seem effortless.
We spend a lot of time acting the fool – but you listen to the music and you can’t knock it.
Uncle Frank have been favourites on the Leicester music scene for over a decade – and now the years of hard work have been rewarded with a three-album record deal.
The duo – Frank Benbini and Na’im Cortazzi – have signed on the dotted line with MITA Records in a deal they said could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Smiles For Miles, an album they have already worked on and were planning to release independently, will now be put out through MITA next year.
The band have also been approached by McDonald’s about using one of their songs in an advert.
Frank announced the news yesterday as it was confirmed the pair would be playing at the De Montfort Hall centenary celebration show in July.
“In this kind of climate, even to get a one-album deal with an international label is pretty unheard of, unless you’re on X Factor or you’re Adele or someone like that,” said Frank.
“A three-album deal in advance is unheard of for an independent act like us, with no big management around.
“Me and Na’im initially thought it must be too good to be true.”
The pair were flown to a studio in the south of France to play for MITA executives.
“We only played five songs and they just offered it to us,” said Frank.
“They asked us to go out there after hearing a piece we’d written for the soundtrack of a Scottish film they were involved with.
“It’s a lucrative deal. I put a condition in as well – that they have to get me a PK Ripper BMX, which is my favourite BMX from the 80s. They’ve got 14 days to deliver.”
On a deal with McDonald’s, Frank said he hoped to follow in the footsteps of Justin Timberlake, whose single I’m Lovin’ It is now synonymous with the fast food chain’s adverts. “The first piece we sent, McDonald’s said they wanted to use for a summer campaign,” he said.
“It’s early stages at the minute, so nothing’s confirmed, but it would be nice.
“I don’t eat much McDonald’s but if they want to use our music and pay us lots of money to do it then, yeah, I love McDonald’s. Give me Justin’s money.”
Frank, who is also drummer for Fun Lovin’ Criminals, said that side of his work had never made it easier to get a foot in the door for Uncle Frank.
“We’ve been doing this since about 2001 and we both work really hard,” he said. “It hasn’t come easy.
“Anyone who comes to our shows knows the sheer amount of effort we put in.”
A MITA spokesman said the duo had “a very strong brand and great, timeless tunes”.
He said: “Uncle Frank convey something that has been sorely missing in music for some time now – that something is soul.
“We are looking forward to building a worldwide presence for them.”