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Doing The Monkey

Doing The Monkey

A large proportion of New Zealanders know of Australian musical kids bands, the Wiggles and Hi-5.

Many New Zealanders, more than 350,000 of them, saw a similar, yet home-grown band perform live last year.

Enter... The Funky Monkeys.

Chris Lam Sam was, until recently, a primary school teacher. His colleagues Neil Tolan (ex-community youth worker), and Joe McNamara (ex-tertiary music tutor) held steady, ordinary day jobs.

On the 1st of March this year, after 5 years of hard work building their popularity with the kids of the nation, they quit their day jobs and became NZ's very own, full-time musical super-group for pre-school and primary school aged kids. Perhaps the nation's first.

When asked what lead them to pursue such a career choice Lam Sam (aka Chris Monkey) said 'We grew up in what we feel was a golden age of kids entertainment. Violence on TV was a a minimum, and the shows we watched were educational both academically and emotionally. We got together because we felt we had something to give back to the kids everywhere. That's why we do what we do.'

In 2005 they released their first album 'Jungle Party!'. In 2007, a DVD version of the CD appeared on store shelves in the Warehouse.

These coming April school holidays, The Funky Monkeys are touring theatres to celebrate and promote the release of their newest album, 'Get Up Go!', an album they hope will prove popular with their fans. The Get Up Go Tour will make stops in Rotorua, North Shore, Pukekohe, Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga.

Performer Joe McNamara (aka Joe Monkey), says “We’re blown away by the number of requests we’ve had for the new album already. The new CD and theatre show have definitely allowed us to take The Funky Monkeys to the next level.“

For more info about The Funky Monkeys and dates and times of concerts visit


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