Six piece Lancaster hip-hop family cutting a new niche in funk

Dean Marroni, Charlie Burns, Becca Pattison, Paul Whitelaw, Adam Woods and Jack Wingad are Divide and Conker.
Dean Marroni, Charlie Burns, Becca Pattison, Paul Whitelaw, Adam Woods and Jack Wingad are Divide and Conker.

A brand new band has been spawned from a weekly funk session in Lancaster.

Divide and Conker released their first single Cutting Corners last week, and the video, which can be found on their Facebook page, has already been watched more than 5,000 times.

Jack Wingad, 20, on guitar and vocals, Adam “Adz” Woods, 23, on bass, Charlie “Slunkhoven” Burns, 21, on drums and vocals, Becca Pattison, 23, on trombone, Paul “Nigel” Whitelaw, 20, on keys and Dean Marroni, 25, on vocals honed their sound at the weekly Lancaster Funk Club session at The Stonewell Tavern.

The sessions, conceived by Lancaster Music Festival organiser and The Convulsions front-man Ben Ruth, sought to bring together a plethora of musicians and musical instruments with a heavy emphasis on funk.

Jack and Adz met at Lancaster and Morecambe College and jammed together at The Penny Bank, before discovering a well known sound on the streets of the city on a Thursday night.

Jack said: “I heard Ben’s harmonica all the way up the street. Adz had been playing funk jams with Ben at The Lord Ashton and then it moved down to The Stonewell.”

Adz said: “People can be a bit intimidated by the house band but it’s an inclusive thing. People come up from London and say how amazing it is.” All the musicians consider the funk club to be “like a family”. There’s been a lot of projects split off from this,” Jack said.

“We wanted to go in a hip-hop direction, and there were certain songs that started to take shape,” Charlie added.

“From day one this has been Ben’s plan - for bands to form out of it.”

Divide and Conker are already working on a second single and new video.

They play the John O’ Gaunt on June 17 and June 30, Halton Millfest on June 18, The Apothecary on July 30 and every Thursday night at The Stonewell.

Check them out!