Funk Club House Band PIAF Monday 13th February 2012

Gig Details:

Band: The Funk Club House Band

Date: Monday 13th February 2012.

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Venue: Perth International Arts Festival – Festival Gardens.

On Monday the 13th of February I did a fill in gig with The Funk Club House Band at the Festival Gardens stage at the Perth International Arts Festival. I was given a call from Jimmy Murphy on the Saturday night (the 11th Febraury) asking if i’d be available to do the show as they had been asked at the last minute due to the scheduled band pulling out and the regular sax player in the band not being able to do the show due to another commitment they already had on the Monday night. I did need to do some rearranging of other music commitments that I had already booked before committing to the show, but in the next hour I had everything sorted and confirmed that I would be able to do it.

This show is the first one that I have done with the House Band for almost a year now, I was looking forward to playing with a great bunch of musicians on a series of Funk and Groove tracks that you normally don’t get to play around Perth.

We arrived for sound check on the Monday at around 5:30pm, we had to be all done and off stage by 6:00pm as the doors would be opening. This was the first evening of the Festival Gardens and we were booked to be the entertainment that preceded the featured movie for the evening, the plan was that we would perform from 7:30 – 8:20pm with the set starting after the end of the formal speeches.

At 7:20pm we were collected from the back stage green room that had been setup for us to relax and refresh between the sound check and the performance. The back stage staff were fantastic and the facilities that were provided for us definitely made the whole experience enjoyable and created a great atmosphere for us to be able to get fully prepared for the show. The formalities for the evening that were on before our set included a number speeches from various dignitaries, these ran over time and ate into our scheduled playing time so we ended up rearranging the set.

At 7:45pm we started our set, we did need to be finished by 8:20pm so that the stage crew could reset the stage for the movie to be shown. The set started with a Funk Club House Band favourite, Dap Walk, this fun loving instrumental featured a guitar solo by Karl Hiller as well as a trumpet solo by Jimmy Murphy. Odette Mercy was guesting with the band and took the stage at the end of Dap Walk for a number of soul loving high energy tunes including Cleanup Woman featuring Karl Hiller on guitar, Hip Drop, Reasons, which both featured myself on the alto saxophone. The House Band also performed an instrumental “Soul Power” a Maceo Parker tune that featured an extended alto saxophone solo by me. The set finished with Odette Mercy singing “Why Don’t We Stoip Paying Taxes” a tune made famous by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

The set went really well, with the band down the regular saxophone and more importantly their musical director, Jon Fernandes, there had been some apprehension before the gig as to how well it would go. The band performed a tight and professional set with a high level of energy and enthusiasm that kept the crowd entertained throughout the entire performance.

A huge thanks to Jimmy Murphy and The Funk Club House Band for the opportunity to again grace the same stage as them, it is always an experience that I enjoy and I hope that I will be able to do it again soon. Thanks also to the wonderful staff back stage at the Festival Gardens and all the people involved with PIAF, it’s always a great experience to be a part of the Perth International Arts Festival.

My next booked gig at this point in time is on saturday the 19th of February with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics as a part of Saturday Night Divas, a fundraising event for RTR FM being held at the Grey Door Gallery in Claremont. Any shows that come up between now and then will appear in the events calendar and on my facebook page so make sure you check it regularly to stay in formed. I’ll look forward to seeing you at a gig soon.

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.



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