Chubby Checker – Gypsy

chubby-checker-gypsy

As you know last week was the first update since I arrived back from my U.S. Tour, so this week I’m going to bring you a tune that went down particularly well at the first stop on the road – Funky Sole in L.A. I’ve also got some pictures of the night to share with you during this post to give you a bit of an idea of the club in case you’ve never seen it or indeed haven’t been before.

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There’s also a video from the night which you can see on the official Gazfunk Facebook page (wordpress doesn’t allow me to post videos!) by going here : https://www.facebook.com/gazfunkmusic/

In the meantime enjoy this absolute banger from Chubby Checker – something you wouldn’t expect from him at all –  and I’ll be back next week with yet more tales from my tour and of course another quality piece of wax. Peace! 

 

Roy Redmond – Ain't That Terrible

Just another quick update (these posts are getting like buses – you wait ages for one then 2 come at once!!). I’m playing tonight on another date on my tour, this time at Capital Soul Club in Austin.

This one will be on a bit more of a Northern tip, so the track I’m bringing for you is one you can expect to hear tonight courtesy of Roy Redmond. This is more on the funky edge of Northern Soul but I’m sure you’ll still dig it. Until next time… https://youtu.be/PD2ci4NweqU

The Whitefield Brothers – Rampage

Hello soul brothers and sisters and a Happy New Year to y’all!! I’ve finally arrived back from my trip to S.E. Asia & Australia where I had an absolutely fantastic time – probably my best trip to date! Of course I had a number of gigs organised during my travels and I’ll tell you a little bit more about them during this post, plus I have a few pictures of said gigs for you to enjoy. It’s good to be back!!

My first dj slot during my tour was in Ho Chi Minh City (or Saigon as the locals more commonly call it). I didn’t realise until a couple of days before I left that I would be dj’ing after the mighty Black Rebel Motorcycle Club who were, like me, visiting Vietnam for the first time. The venue itself (Cargo Bar) is probably the most impressive venue I’ve ever been to and it’s a space that has been tailored specifically for djs and live bands.

Once the gig was over that was my cue to take to the decks. I initially was unsure as to what vibe to go for as I wasn’t sure what type of crowd I’d be playing to, plus the fact that it’s hard to know what type of music BRMC fans would like to hear at a club after the concert. I started off with Sandie Shaw’s excellent version of “Sympathy For The Devil” and this got the crowd onside straight away. From there I played some 70s psych mixed with garage, freakbeat and other oddities before upping the tempo a little big and delving into my bag of funk. The crowd seemed really up for a dance and I had a number of different people congratulating me on my musical selection with one even saying I was a better dj than Grandmaster Flash (who incidentally was playing in Saigon that same night) and another remarking that I was the best dj he’d seen during the 20 years he’d been attending events in Saigon – high praise indeed!! You can check out some photos below:

The impressive space that was the Cargo Bar

The impressive space that was the Cargo Bar

The crowd getting their funk on

The crowd getting their funk on

The stage is set..

Laying down the beats

Laying down the beats

From Saigon it was on to Siem Reap in Cambodia the very next day for my next dj appearance in the cool setting of The Laundry Bar. The Laundry has a growing reputation for live bands & djs with an impressive sound system and is probably considered as the best venue for live music and alternative entertainment in the whole of Cambodia. Again, I didn’t know what to expect as I had no real idea whether the people there would be funk fans, but if they weren’t by the start of the night they certainly were come the end! I was also approached by a lady who runs various music festivals in the U.S. to see if I was interested in performing there in the future. Watch this space.. Here’s a selection of photos:

Posing beside a nice little poster

Posing beside a nice little poster

Even in the toilet you can't escape Gazfunk!!

Even in the toilet you can’t escape Gazfunk!!

Doin' my thang

Doin’ my thang

Some of my followers...

Some of my followers…

My next stop was Melbourne. I had been booked to play in a hip burger joint called The B-East which was at the top of trendy Lygon St. My slot was organised by Australia’s No1 soul sistah, Samantha Goldie. This was something of a more low-key affair as it was mainly busy with locals out for a bite to eat on a Saturday evening. There’s no dancefloor so it wasn’t really a party vibe, but those who were there seemed to enjoy the music and by the end of the night I did manage to get 1 or 2 people grooving.

Put the needle on the record...

Put the needle on the record…

The groovy interior of The B-East

The groovy interior of The B-East

The bar

The bar

Nervous smile for some reason

Nervous smile for some reason

My final (or should that be vinyl) stop on my tour saw me travel to a little festival being held on NYE about an hour outside of Sydney in a National Park. The setting was quite laid back and dare I say it, hippy. A friend of mine was running the bar at the festival (supplying his own craft beers) so I was happy to dj at the bar to keep the thirsty punters entertained whilst waiting on their “grog” (I was in Australia). Later that night I was invited to dj at a “naked disco” – and yes, it was exactly as you’d imagine. Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) there is no photographic evidence from this so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that it was brilliant fun with a great atmosphere (it should be noted that this was a one-off experience for me!!!)

Today’s track then, is a song that I played a couple of times during my sets on the tour and each time it destroyed the dancefloor (as it has done in the U.K. too). Enjoy!!

Billy Clark & The Maskman – Soul Party (Part 1)

Billy Clark - Soul Party Part 1

This week’s track is by an artist that I never knew anything about when I first heard it, but as I listened through the song I recognized the vocals from somewhere but I couldn’t remember where – then it struck me where I’d heard that vocal style before. It was indeed Hermon Bethea – a man that we’ve featured before here on the blog (Maskman & The Agents “One Eye Open”). Of course something more than a cursory glance at the sleeve would’ve told me that it was Billy Clark & The Maskman (the very same Maskman)

The one thing about the cover that would surprise however, is in my opinion it doesn’t really give a fair indication of the funkiness contained within. Looking at the sleeve would lead you to think you were in for an r&b/early soul groove, however what comes from the wax is very different – an instrumental groove that wouldn’t sound out-of-place on a New Orleans Funk compilation. The other strange thing about this record is that to my knowledge it’s only available as a French release – thus making it even more of a collector’s item.

As it turns out Billy Clark used to play the saxophone (and was indeed the bandleader) for The Maskman himself, so it seems that this was a case of role reversal. Clark was by no means a prolific recording artist – in fact I believe that he only released 4 other singles, but this one is surely worth a place in any funk fan’s collection.

A few weeks ago I published details of my upcoming S.E. Asia & Australia tour and I hope to be able to confirm another couple of dates in two more cities, so keep an eye open for that. In the meantime I’ve got a cool poster designed for one of the gigs in Melbourne. You can check it out below (don’t forget, the song clip will below this text!)

Gazfunk B.East Poster