Rigidy Rourke take neo soul out for a ride

RIGIDY ROURKE AND THE LOVE DOGS are a Melbourne funk/soul band who've just released a new single and video called Low Pockets. An emotional and beautiful song, it soars from an incredible vocal performance from keyboardist Tina Behrsin. The track is smooth as silk and a departure from their more party funk released before. We chat to main man Chris Riggs to find out about the new sound the band is creating and more about the funk/soul scene in Melbourne.


You can catch them play with Brian El Dorado and the Tuesday October 14th at Baha Tacos in Rye.


1. New single is a great neo soul track, but it’s quite different from your previous funk party releases. Is this a sign of a new direction? Was that a conscious decision or one that just naturally happened?

The single is absolutely the sign of a new direction for the Love Dogs. I wanted to write a song where each instrument would fill it's own 'space' and fit around the other instruments like a jigsaw. The new single is definitely a glimpse into the future of the Love Dogs.


2. Are songs written more for a live setting or a recorded setting? How do the songs change from one setting to the other if they do at all?

The songs are written primarily for live performance and are absolutely open to improvisation and interpretation. Every musician has their own unique musical voice. I find it interesting how different a song can sound when you hand it over to another musician and give them room express themselves.


3. Is there a big soul/funk music scene in Melbourne? There are nights such as Soul A Gogo which focus on old soul records and soul radio shows on community radio. But where do new soul bands get to cut their teeth?

There is a big soul/funk scene in Melbourne but I feel we sit on the outskirts of that scene. All the members of the Love Dogs, including myself, are very busy playing for other people and across multiple genres. It is my hope that the Love Dogs will have a greater presence in the Melbourne scene in 2018. There are a lot of fantastic funk bands that really capture the sound and soul of early funk music. I guess our goal is to find our own sound, we will draw influence from the past and hopefully create something that sounds new and fresh.


4. What’s great about soul and funk music as player in Melbourne?

There are so many quality musicians in Melbourne that play in the soul/funk genre and I personally draw a lot of musical inspiration from those around me. More so than I do traditional soul/funk.


5. Who are some of your favourite funk and soul bands in Melbourne right now?

Some up and coming bands to check out would be Beautiful Beasts and Brian El Dorado & The Tuesday People. Neither band is strictly funk/soul, but they both draw heavily from the genre. I try and catch The Shackmen and Buttered Loaf when the opportunity presents itself.