No support and a twenty six strong P-Funkestra featuring Bernie Worrell. That’s what the tickets/posters promised.
We dine early in The Griffin where a surprising number of Parliament teeshirts are already being sported, then repair to the venue
Half an hour late and through an air of expectancy that you could almost taste, they shuffled on. I’ve waited forty years to see this act.
No guitar techs or hard moulded flight-cases for the Funkadelic * guitarists. No, instead it was camouflage jackets, and fatigues, with their instruments in black nylon ‘over-both-shoulders’ back packs. Dreadlocks were de rigeur. A fluorescent orange plastic chair, like that you’d see in many a works canteen, was brought on and placed immediately in front of the drum riser. This would be George’s throne when he wasn’t singing, mopping up the adulation or mugging to the crowd.
Having finally tuned up, a small 8-piece strong group opened with Cosmic Slop and slid seamlessly into Flashlight. They never reached anything near the twenty six we wuz promised. At most I counted fourteen and Bernie’s keyboards sat unused at the front of the stage the whole evening, he failed to show!
Maggotbrain was, as expected, devastating and the guitarist looked absolutely exhausted following its conclusion.Eddie Hazel would be proud!
Later in the set they actually played Testify for, apparently, the first time in twenty five years. Uncle George is now off the fairydust, PCP, crack and whatever else he was ingesting for the last few decades and it certainly shows.He’s loving the show and the adulation.
Gig of the year so far and this was without Worrel. How I’d love to have seen ‘The Mothership’ with Bootsy et al, in its heyday!
My only regret is they didn’t play The Silent Boatman.
- In the early eighties I went in to Wee Bloggs (because it was Saturday and I went there at least three times a week) One day (I recall Talking Heads Remain In Light being the new window display however I might be wrong) I asked the assistant if they had any Funkadelic. He sneered, then remarked that he had “never heard of Funky Derek and, as such, ‘he’ couldn’t be any good”. My anger at his rudeness and wanting to pull him over the counter was neutralised by my amusement that this self-opinionated knob was actually dead serious.
He went on to manage Wet Wet Wet very shortly after that, quite what that says about the music industry I’m not quite sure……………