Funk Club House Band 25th March 2011

Gig Details.

Band: Funk Club House Band

Date: Friday 25th March 2011

Venue: Luxe Bar, 444 Beaufort Street Mt Lawley

On Wednesday the 23rd of March I received a call from one of my good friends Jon Fernandes to see if I could come and do a fill in gig with the Funk Club House Band (FCHB) at the Luxe Bar in Mt Lawley on Friday the 25th of March.

The FCHB was formed as the profile band for the Funk Club, a non profit organisation located in Perth, Western Australia, whose aim is to support the local music scene in Perth especially the soul and funk genres and provide a place for this art form to be cultivated in Perth. Over many years the Funk Club has had many large international acts perform at their events including Alice Russell (UK), Menaham Street Band (NYC), The Cat Empire (Australia) and Russ Dewbury’s Jazz Rooms.

Playing with the FCHB is something that isn’t new to me, I have played with them numerous times as the first call for their horn players when either of them have been unavailable due to other commitments. Past shows that I have done with them would include the support for Alice Russell, various corporate events, Funk Club New Years Eve Countdown, Cat Empire, Weddings, Residency at the Claremont Hotel, Good Vibrations and the residency at the Funk Club.

The show on the 25th of March was a two hour booking as the main entertainment for the wedding of Kristy and Shaun Wright. We got to the venue for a 4 – 5pm setup and soundcheck and it was great to see some of the regular guys from the House Band that I hadn’t been able to catch up with for a while.

The evening for guests commenced at 5:30pm and was a cocktail style reception. The Luxe Bar is an interesting style venue to have a wedding reception, it is an open air amphitheatre style venue with a bar and medium sized elevated section at the back for people to enjoy drinks. This really would not have been my choice of a venue for a wedding reception, and for those wanting a traditional venue then it probably would not suit in anyway whatsoever, however, for this more modern and update couple the venue proved ideal. The atmosphere throughout the entire evening was lively and celebratory. With the teared seating of the amphitheatre providing the perfect opportunity for guests to talk to privately with each other if they so desired. The staging proved to be ideal for the speeches to be delivered from and the wooden area in front of the staging was turned into a good sized dance floor which was well used later in the evening.

The FCHB started their first of two sets at 7:45pm,Miss Odette Mercy lead the band with vocal soul tunes including Mistreat the One You Love, Reasons and an original version of the Jimi Hendricks song Small Axe. The set also included James Brown tunes Pass the Peas and Soul Power and created a great party atmosphere that guests danced to on the dance floor and up at the bar area.

The second set commenced at the conclusion of the cutting of the cake and the first dance of the bride and groom. The cake was an interesting twist on the traditional with each guest been given a fantail, a type of cocktail, to consume in a toast to the happy couple. This was followed by their first dance to the song “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. The second set of the FCHB kicked off into an extended version of “The Best of My Love” which kept the dance floor at its capacity throughout the entire song. The energy created by the FCHB throughout their second set kept the guests entertained with various people continuing to dance the night away throughout the entire set.

The entire experience of playing again with the Funk Club House Band was, as always, an enjoyable one. The high level of excellence in musicianship, fun and energy always make them a great bunch of guys to create music and entertain audiences regardless of what the venue is or what the occasion is. I will look forward to my next gig with these guys in the future, whenever that opportunity arises.

 

 

Askari Afrobeat Orchestra

The Askari afrobeat orchestra is one of the bands I play in regularly around the Perth metropolitan area. We are a 13 piece band, yes that is big, that have been brought together by a common love for African music, particularly the Afrobeat of Fela Kuti and Tony Allen.

Since forming in 2009 we have been the resident band at Afrodisia, this is a night promoted by Think Twice promotions which celebrates African Music, particularly the genre of Afrobeat. The Afrodisia nights started at Mojos in North Fremantle once a month on a Saturday before moving earlier in 2010 to being hosted at the Funk Club which is located upstairs at the Leederville Hotel. Afrodisia occurs the third Saturday of every month, the rest of the Friday nights at the Funk Club feature local, national and international acts in the Soul and Funk genres. On the 8th October the band get to support the inaugural visit of Mulatu Astatke and the 11 piece band “The Black Jesus Experience” at the Bakery in Northbridge. Multatu is considered to be the Father of the style of music known as Ethio-Jazz.

The band has largely been influenced by the music of Fela Kuti, considered the Father of Afrobeat, as well as Toni Allen and others including Fela Kuti, Tony Allen, Manu Dibango, Mulatu Astatqe, Franco Luambo Makaidi, Antibalas, Ebo Taylor, Alhaji K. Frimpong, the Daktaris, Orchestra Baobab, Sam Mangwana, Tabu Ley Rocheareau, Mbaraka Mwinshehe, Mahmoud Ahmed, Wallias Band in styles that include Afrobeat, Afrofunk, Highlife and Ethio Jazz.

The Askari are a local Perth band and comprise of 13 local Perth Musicians who work in numerous other bands across the city. The high level of skill and years of experience of these performers leads to a high energy and exciting evening of entertainment every time. Co-led by Jon Fernandes (Bass) and Jamie Searle (Guitar) the band features Grace Barbe (Neema) – bass, guitar, vocals. Ofa Fotu (Mrembo) – guitar, percussion, vocals. Rhys Bailey-Brooks (Kijana) – baritone saxophone. Jimmy Murphy (Madomo) – trumpet. Alistair McEvoy (Buzi) – saxophones. Simon Montgomery (Mtaalamu) – alto, tenor sax. John Brown (Anaondokaye) – sticks, shakere. Shane Kearney (Bingwa) – congas, djembe, talking drum. Zen Fusion (Kifimbo) – drum set. The regular band has also been joined at various times by many other musicians form in the Perth Music community for various shows.

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