Saturday, August 1, 2009

Funkin' Excellent !

One Nation, under a Groove - Get your funk on, Funkateers...

Wahoo! The Mothership landed in town... Went to see the legendary George (no relation to Bill) Clinton and the current P-Funk incarnation at Tripod last night. Great gig, and perhaps the best collection of musicians I've ever seen live.

The show was as brilliantly eccentric and crazy as expected, with band members regularly inter-changing, taking impromptu individual breaks and wandering around the stage and wings at random. Probably due to the fact that the 20+ band couldn't all safely fit on the small stage at any one time...

Highlight for me was a scintillating version of 'Maggot Brain', which seemed to go on for a good 20 minutes.

One of the two drummers (Rico Lewis, I think?), whenever it wasn't his turn on the kit, spent a lot of the show lighting up the spliffs thrown onto the stage, sometimes climbing the ladder up to the adjacent sound desk to consume them. Hope the fire inspectors weren't in that night...

At one point an audience member rushed the stage (pursued, pretty quickly, by a very large bouncer) and went to try to shake George's hand, then proceeded to rip the multi-colored wig from George's head and exited stage left, captured in the bouncer's headlock, but with the trophy still firmly in his grasp.

George stayed cool, finished the duet he was doing and made some remark along the lines of "Motherf*cker trying to strip me naked!".

From what I could see, most of the band looked initially surprised about this incident, then seemed amused. The spliffer drummer was at the side of the stage laughing his ass off, so, I have an inkling that it was a 'Bruno/Borat-style' arranged stunt that at least some of them were complicit in... If it wan't a joke, then I hope the gatecrasher got a right good hiding backstage!

Anyway, George was back later in the show with a baseball cap covering his barren pate.

Hope the wig survived! If not, I'm sure he has a couple of spares in his suitcase. Some photos below...

Possibly, slightly stoned Rico Lewis in the white vest and no, that's not Prince crouching to his right

P-Funk veteran Garry Schider (centre) in his trademark diaper/nappy/incontinence pad thing. George Clinton with cap on. B.B. King's stunt double with trumpet in hand.

(left to right) P-Funk nemesis - Sir Nose, George Clinton (with hair) and Poo-Poo Man all keeping the groove going.

Just as an addendum, here is a list of P-Funk alumni/contributors over the years. It reads like a phone book... Even then, think there are quite a few missing from the list...

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