California music legends Tower of Power - the most dynamic and distinctive band of survivors in soul music - continue their milestone 50th anniversary celebrations with a show in Manchester next week.
Tower of Power's co-founder Emilio Castillo said: "Our UK fans are some of our favourite in the whole world, and all of us in Tower of Power are truly thrilled to be coming back to play some deeply funky music as part of our 50th anniversary."
To celebrate 50 years in music is a huge achievement and shows a lasting appeal through the years. "We have a very original signature in terms of our music. You know, it's not like the others," he laughs.
"It's soul music, but it is uniquely ours. We call it Oakland Style.
"We've always had this unique way of approaching music.
"I remember midway through our career the record companies were trying to get us to sound like the other bands and, you know, they were giving us a lot of money and we wanted to please them, but no matter what we did we sounded like us, and for a while we thought that it was a curse. Then we quit trying to do that and just got back to our mode of making the music exactly the way we wanted it to be and things started to get better again.
"We realised it was a blessing that we don't sound like others. And I think that's the appeal. This is the only place you can come to get this music."
In June last year Tower of Power released the centrepiece of their 50th anniversary, the dynamic and definitively titled Soul Side of Town. The songs were composed by the hit-making team of founding members Emilio Castillo (Detroit-born on second tenor sax) and Stephen "Doc" Kupka (Los Angeles-born on baritone sax), who also hold down the world famous five-man Tower of Power Horns. And it is this album that Tower of Power will be touting for the first time in the UK when they visit later this month.
On the night fans should be ready for a funky, hard-driving and emotional show, according to Emilio.
"The Tower of Power show, the live thing of music is beautiful. You know, very exciting show, kinda like James Brown, Sly Stone, Finch, kinda excitement on stage.
"And we have a really exciting beat vocalist, Marcus Scott.
"Of course you've got the five piece horn section, and what I think is the finest rhythm section in the world to date.
"Just so incredibly funky and hard driving. You are going to leave the place sweaty and emotionally exhausted."
As part of the 50 year celebrations the city of Oakland rolled out the red carpet for the band. Emilio explained: "We did this big concert in our hometown of Oakland, California. They declared it Tower of Power Day and the mayor had us out on the big patio outside City Hall and awarded us all awards for all the work we have done for the city of Oakland for years.
"Then we played a concert, augmented the band that night with several key past members of the band - we added violins and two extra background vocalists.
"It was a very special night and we filmed it in HD. So we're halfway through the mix now and then we'll do the video editing. So next year a 50-year DVD documentary is coming out.
"We also have a completed record that's coming out before the end of the year. When we recorded this record, this last one, we actually did two albums worth of material. The new record is going to be called Step Up and we're going to change our moniker from Tower of Power to ToP."
See Tower of Power at the O2 Ritz in Manchester on Wednesday, May 29. Tickets are £34.35. Doors open 7pm. To book tickets visit https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/1F005566A02235B5?brand=o2ritzmanchester&camefrom=CFC_AMG_RITZ_top19