top of page

The dream of the Darn Funk Orchestra started in 2003. Drummer James Darn was living in Cambridge and, inspired by his observations, adventures and thumb twiddling, started writings songs and playing guitar at open mic nights. 

In 2005, after studying at music college in London, he returned to Cambridge and became acquainted with marvellous young men who together formed the “Get Up-Forward”. They regularly played together for two years at all the main venues in Cambridge, the May Balls and a lot of weddings. The vocals were shared between James and guitarist Tom Mayle. This was the first opportunity James had to play his own songs in a band context.

In 2007 the band split leaving James and bassist Ben Wilkes to find new members and explore pastures new. Often getting gigs on the back of sessions with other bands, they found themselves experimenting with line ups. James began to take seriously the idea of writing arrangements of ancient Hebrew poetry and wrote funky music for the first 25 psalms. He also started writing horn arrangements and did a few gigs with full bands plus horn sections.

In 2010 James moved back to London and linked up with guitarist Ed Dampier, trumpet player Chris Snead, and many different horn and bass players along the way. Whilst continuing to play in bars, clubs and weddings the Darn Funk Orchestra also decided to get involved in playing at Church events and festivals.

2013 saw the recording of DFO’s first album Soul Food featuring a collection of music written over the time span of the project with some of the songs written as early as 2003! Another years worth of gigs and sending CD’s to record labels Soul Food got signed to record label Plankton Records and is due to be released Summer 2015.


Watch this space for the next paragraph of history…

bottom of page