If you've been a regular on the UK festival circuit over the past two years, there's a high chance you will have stumbled upon TC and The Groove Family at some point.

The 10-piece collective, who serve up sizzling hot global grooves covering afrobeat, breakbeat, jungle and jazz, emerged on the festival scene in 2022 when their high-octane sets drew increasingly large crowds as the summer went on, at the likes of We Out Here, Secret Garden Party, Shambala and Glastonbury.

That year also saw them release their debut album, First Home, which showcased the full breadth of their sprawling sound and built on the hype that surrounded their early releases.

But while their studio output is mightily impressive and worth a listen, it’s in a live environment where the band really thrive, as they demonstrated at Camden’s Jazz Café on Friday night (June 7).

With 10 musicians on stage, in addition to long-time collaborator MC Franz Von front and centre, who ensured the energy in the crowd was kept as high as it was on stage, there was barely space for all of them to fit and the sound they produced was just as full. Not only that but it was tight throughout, which is no mean feat for a group of such scale.

(Image: Robin Murray)

That's perhaps no surprise given they are led by drummer and group founder Tim Cook (that’s the TC), whose drumming was sublime from start to finish, leading his ensemble like a human metronome. He showed off the extent of his ability with a few dazzling solos dotted throughout, and his musicianship was matched by his bandmates, some of whom also had the chance to wow the crowd with fantastic solos.

The incendiary Bossfight, perhaps the band’s most well-known song, sent the crowd into a frenzy, while Dueno showed off the more laid-back jazz sound they possess in their armoury. The gig also coincided with the release of the band’s latest EP, We Have Each Other, which demonstrates a notable progression to their sound. 

Stand Strong and Blessed from the new release in particular stood out as some of the set’s best tracks. The crowd was hooked throughout – and among the 500 or so packed in were some of the band’s relatives, including Cook’s grandma, who was singled out by her talented grandson. She looked proud as punch as she watched on the balcony above, and it's no wonder.

TC and the Groove Family are on a steep upward trajectory, and with performances like this, it’s easy to see why. If you get a chance to see them this summer, whether at a gig or festival, then go for it. You’ll leave the venue – or tent – with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.