The Upsiders have always had a bit of trouble defining their genre. Playing an unusual selection of instruments, including a melodica, cajón and ukulele, the Coventry-based five-piece take influences from funk and soul legends like Earth Wind and Fire and the Jackson 5 as well as current chart-toppers such as Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. This mix of instruments and influences have created a unique, quirky ’pop-funk’ party sound that is brimming with energy and musicality.
If you’ve heard of The Upsiders already, you probably know that they are a living, breathing jukebox, playing tons of cover songs from different artists, genres and decades. They have made their way around Coventry, Warwickshire and beyond, playing events such as Godiva Festival 2017, the opening ceremony of Coventry’s 2Tone Taxi, the 2017 Coventry Christmas Lights Switch-on and many other pubs, parties and weddings. The Upsiders have also contributed towards the City of Culture bid, as well as working with creative groups in Coventry such as Talking Birds theatre company.
The Upsiders consist of Callum Maciver on lead vocals and ukulele, Nathan de Broize-King on melodica and accordion, David ‘Hot Chocolate’ Heywood on electric guitar, Chris Wood on bass guitar and Ryan Middleton on cajón and percussion. The band originate from different areas of the UK, but came together as students at Coventry University. The band formed in September 2015 and have been performing regularly for the near 3 years that they have been together. The band found a lot of initial success busking in Coventry city centre - getting a lot of their first gigs from passers by, leading to opportunities that have allowed The Upsiders to find their place in the music scene around Coventry and Warwickshire. The band still regard busking with high importance, and try to get out on the streets as much as possible.
In May of 2018, The Upsiders released their debut album of original music, ‘Songs From All Corners Of The Universe’, which was an eclectic celebration of the band’s musical ideas, with songs written by every member of the band. The album ‘doubles down’ on the variety of influences that forms their sound, including songs with latin-influenced rhythms, electronic arrangements and lush vocal harmonies. Importantly, the album also features collaboration from many other artists that are linked to Coventry & Warwickshire’s artistic scene. Following the album release, The Upsiders were proud to be named BBC Coventry & Warwickshire’s ‘Band of the Month’ for June 2018!
The energetic front man! He plays ukulele, sings, and dances if you are lucky. With a wide vocal range and charisma he is bound to liven up any event. He is a highly experienced performer with training in Theater and Music. Vocally, he takes inspiration from Bruno Mars, David Bowie and Brett McKenzie.
This is where the buttery biscuit bass happens. He gets the groove going with his sometimes simple, or sometimes technically demanding bass lines setting the foundations of the funk which has become synonymous the band's sound. As well as this, Chris is a highly capable vocalist who idiomatically performs with soul.
David Heywood 'Hot Chocolate'
The most defined caricature of the band with his stage name "Hot Chocolate" becoming a prominent feature of the group's mythos. His wit is only matched by humoured cynicism. He may not be the most talkative member but definitely has a way with words proving himself to be a poetic and dynamic lyricist. Doubling the guitar and vocals, he makes a mean duo of funky guitar riffs and a great falsetto backing vocal!