It’s not often you get to get up close and personal to musical legends of this calibre. To absorb the mastery from close quarters, in a intimate setting, in their natural home…in this case the stage and the studio! And not just any ole studio. Not just any ole gig…and not just any ole studio session. Do read on…
Metropolis studios with a concept inspired by Creative Genius and Photographer Kofi Allen, put on the George Clinton Weekender. Day one saw George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, do an intimate gig, recorded for TV. Next Day was the studio set up, seeing George and the band record and album straight to vinyl!! Then day three…was the Masterclass, with Interview and Q &A (Sadly I managed to miss the last session.) But as solace I got to spend more time hanging out with some of the band members. I also got as many of them as I could to sign some of the event promotional material! 🙂
It’s actually really hard to put into words what an amazing weekend this was. It was unlike any other I have experienced to date. Was it the heady mix of mingling with Legends. Awesome musicians every one. Or seeing history being made before my eyes? Was it the world class studios and seeing the inner workings of how it all happens? Well it was all that and more. There was a genuinely beautiful atmosphere. Everyone in attendance was taken in by the magic. We were all funked up man!!
First of all before I go into the gig itself, we got a tour of the studios, with its many rooms. We also got a lot of background into how the studio is run and some of the world class performers who have recorded their work there. Another nice touch was getting to try out the CTRL app with Yuli from Reactify Music. Its a remixing app, which allows you add effects to your music. See Kofi Allen here demonstrating 🙂 You know me…I went straight to the iTunes store and downloaded it!!
Before George performed, we also got to meet him. We took some pics, and Kofi got to discuss his work of fine art, with George as his subject, with the main man. Toward the end of the night I also got introduced to the guys from top UK band Rudimental. The buzz from the gig, and the love in the room had us all on a high.
Ok. So as outlined in the flyer below, day one was gig night. It was an intimate gig which saw Metropolis Studio A, transformed into a venue space. Well. Let me tell you something. It was PHENOMENAL. The atmosphere was electric. Were all basking in the glow of the P-funk.These are musicians of such outstanding calibre and pedigree, that I can’t really do them justice with my commentary. They have funk down to science…and they take you to places….far out places. You feel it right in your solar plexus. And if you can’t..you must be lobotomised! I was just amazed. I was in the zone. I was spaced out!! It was also nice to be able to toggle time spent between the VIP area and main gig space too…and get a privileged view away from the armpits 🙂
A live recording…to vinyl!! With George Clinton…and Parliament Funkadelic!! I also got to go up to the Vinyl room whilst the recording was in session, and chew the fat with one of Europe’s top mix engineers. If you don’t ask people…you don’t get. You know me..I can be excitable at the best of times. I was beside myself I tell ya 🙂 And it wasn’t just me. We all were! This is once in a lifetime stuff. The thing was..it was actually a once in a lifetime experience for the band too. That is the truly humbling thing. These guys played their asses off. In front of a live audience. No edits. Just play the song. Play it again if necessary. Consumate professionals. This was live. No cut and paste edits here!! True mastery. Joss Stone did a great job next to the backing vocalists…but I must say special salutations to backing vocalists Mary Griffin and Kendra Foster! Its clear why these ladies are the best of the best, and perform with some of the worlds greatest musicians. They have sass for days. Their voices!! Par excellence! When Mary sang Ceelo Green’s Crazy…we were all just floored! I was stunned into disbelief…I kid you not. I mean imagine warming up some honey..sprinkling it with a bit of honeycomb, then letting it drip of a spoon onto some ice-cream, then savouring the flavour. It was kind of like that…in your ears! (If that makes any sense). Kendra has a a more jazzy neo-soul vocal. Like balmy nights on the savannah. Someone described her stage presence as ‘a living orgasm!’..their words..not mine 🙂 However…I concur!
The awesomeness of the first two days had my head in a spin. So unfortunately for me…I missed the Masterclass as I didn’t realise it was going to be on so early. I could have kicked myself. I’m Learning & Development Consultant by day, so I was really interested to see this. Plus, I just love this sort of stuff anyway. That’s me all day long. Good news is, that it was recorded too, so hopefully at some point I can get to see it. However, sad that I never got to join in the Q&A (sniffles.) On the upside. It was a day off for a lot of the band, so we got to hang out with them, talk shop and get to know some of them a little and talk to them about their work and their lives. Well these guys are some of the finest musicians on the planet…but you wouldn’t tell from the humility they displayed. They were gracious. They were warm. They were open. They were P-Funk. I probably embarrassed myself by being like an excitable puppy…but I couldn’t help it. They were all very sweet about it. 🙂
Anyway. I advise you to check these guys out and follow them when, where you can. Get to know people. Some of them aren’t on Social Media, but some are. Phases and stages of evolution. So, now It’s roll call time.
George Clinton – Funkmaster
Stephen Boyd – Vocalist. Main Support to the main man
Kendra Foster – Vocalist @MzKendraFoster
Mary Griffin – Vocalist
Ricardo Rouse – Guitarist, Composer (Composed Beyonce and Jay Z’s Bonnie & Clyde!)
Garrett Shider – Lyricist, Singer with a voice that send shivers down the spine, Guitarist
Michael Hampton Funk/Rock guitarist. Hall of Fame inductee. Total Sweetheart.
William ‘Clip’Payne – Vocalist with the Most-a-list
Daniel Bedrosian – Funkiest keyboardist ever, Composer, Vocalist
Bennie Cowan – Brass, “The General”
Gregory Thomas – Sax King
Lige Curry – Phat Bass
Benjamin ‘Benzel’ Cowan – Drums, Soul Child.
Joseph McCreary – Bass, Composer
With special guest Joss Stone
P-Funk engineer – Dwayne Dungey.