The Radar: Long Finger Bandits

By Shaun Ponsonby
Sat 28 October, 2017

Gypsy-infused jazz with a striking visual element. Shaun Ponsonby takes a listen to Ocean Waves signing Long Finger Bandits. 

Music is now less territorial than it has probably ever been, and this is reflected in the abundance of bands blending genres, taking influence from the most disparate of sources.

Long Finger Bandits are a strange collective who mix up gypsy, jazz, ska, blues, punk, rock and a very retro, almost vaudevillian style. This latter point extends beyond their music and into their presentation.

Their new single, released today, is Black Delilah, coming courtesy of Ocean Waves.

The song has a feel of an almost theatrical jazz – there is a real sense of storytelling that is intoxicating.

In fact, it is difficult to compare them to anybody in particular. They are totally original. At a push, there is clearly some Gogol Bordello in there, and the retro jazz of Caro Emerald springs to mind.

But there is also something a little more unsettling bubbling beneath the surface. This is only heightened by the video, in which the titular character appears to have been influenced by Tim Burton; a gothic fantasy that is at once both inviting and bizarre.

Their visual element appears to be a large part of who they are, and they work with visual creative artists to achieve this (in the case of Black Delilah, the video was directed by Anna Levin at Vassago Films).

The band themselves are full of faces well-known to the Liverpool scene, from Galactic Funk Militia, to Stealing Sheep and Liverpool jazz legend Martin Smith. Their pedigree is clear from the outset; there is a wealth of experience within Black Delilah.

Long Finger Bandits play Ocean Waves’ Label Showcase at Studio 2 on Saturday 4th November.