Theo Croker – we’re not drinking the Kool-aid

Theo Croker and his band are not being taken in. It was reassuring to meet this group of young Americans just days after Donald Trump became President-Elect. These men are not fooled by any of it. In a reference to the Jonestown tragedy in 1978 where mass suicide involved poisoned soft drinks, Theo and his band emphasised just how savvy they are.

Of course, Croker’s 2016 album – Escape Velocity – is evidence enough of free-thinking and creativity. It is a stunning collection of tunes that show Croker’s trumpet and the whole band’s skills beautifully.

Real life is there in every tune. Social media is part of their everyday life – all these musicians are active and engaged with the world. That engagement is clear in the music, which mixes electronic wizadry and production values with musical ability and performance that is exceptional.

It was fascinating to be given the opportunity to meet trumpeter Theo Croker, Kassa Overall (drums), Michael King (keys), Eric Wheeler (bass), Anthony Ware (saxes) and Ben Eunson (guitar). Interviewing this democracy in miniature was an interesting event as they filmed it for themselves, just as I recorded the sound. Taking it all in is obvious in the album, too. “The music is all about people and the world we experience as we travel around,” Croker said.

Next time, I’ll catch the live show, too. “When we go into the studio, we want to create something different to what you’ll hear live,” Croker said. Certainly, there’s an honesty and a transparency – these men are living today and making the most of every moment. Perhaps that’s what Escape Velocity is about – finding the speed to live better and not to believe the lies.