Fat Tuesdays for Funk / Soul / Jazz / Blues musicians

It’s been a while since I put up a blog.  I’ve had the pleasure of getting married recently so have been pre-occupied :) .  I’ll write a blog about some of the excellent suppliers we found sometime soon, and also one about the nightmare that finding a band can be! Some of the demands bands make, and fees that agents charge left me a little cold. Anyway – another time..  

I have an inkling of an idea. It’s a mere spark in the milkman’s eye at the moment but why not put it on the internet.

Whenever I’m thinking about what to do for an evening out there are 2 things that tend to spring to mind.  First is that I would like to see more local gigs that showcase quality music and clever ideas.  Second is that I’m always on the look out to meet and play with more musicians.

Unfortunately many of the gigs that you stumble across don’t display much in terms of ambition and ability.  For those of us who are in bands there is always the problem of finding deps, and keeping them up to speed with what you do. I also suspect that there are many musicians out there who have not had the chance to sit in with bands either for fun, for extra cash, or even just experience and to cut their teeth.

What if we could start a regular night where we took over a venue, had some equipment set up, and let a variety of bands play a few numbers each / share ideas / jam / collaborate? Let people showcase ideas or meet and play with potential deps.  It would essentially be a free club for local musicians to bring ideas and have fun. Of course you’d need to be invited to play… we wouldn’t want it to border on karaoke!

It’s probably just a dream but wouldn’t it be cool to know you could just show up, hear quality music, meet like minded musicians and have a few drinks. 

Maybe it’s just me…?

A controversial defence

** Due to the controversial nature of this blog I should state that this is my opinion alone, and not necessarily that of the whole Fat Cat Soul Band **

A few weeks ago I was doing some sorting and tidying in my flat.  From the next room I heard my lovely girlfriend shout “Simon, we need to talk”.  So, heart in mouth, I head into the other room to see her standing there, holding something that is supposed to elicit shame and embarrassment in me. I know what you’re all assuming, but no you’re wrong.  In her eyes this may be considered worse….

It was my “One night alone… live” Prince boxset.

A small argument ensued around a) whether I should own such an item (and have it out in the open for just anyone to see), and b) whether Prince is in fact any good.

Prince has written some incredible funk songs and I will happily defend that point against anyone.  The arrangements from the structure to the use of horns is always so tasteful, and it always grooves. On nearly every album he’s done there is at least one killer funk tune – there’s a reason that people like Maceo Parker are happy to play with him (besides the cash).  Check out these examples for some slightly lesser known examples:

FUNK – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iPcUFNR2aA
The Work – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYb_Kl-qKcI
Family Name – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXWbNotSawI&feature=related
Get on the boat (sorry for the image used) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zk0_U7siJc
Musicology – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG301CI1rHs&feature=related
Ol’ skool company – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuGrQPf_ioY

Now I know that you could probably put up a load of links to songs that would make me cringe (and even more photos of his outfits from the past) but these songs are great and the guy really knows how to do funk. Not only that but he (and importantly his band) put on a really exceptional live show.

Now to be balanced and to show that I’m not blindly naive I should share this brilliant story from Kevin Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy_cLJ19HMg&feature=relmfu. Follow the links for the whole story – I apologise for some of the language in this but the guy can really tell a story. I respect Prince and recognise talent, but clearly he can sometimes come across as very very weird.

So whilst I will defend my admiration of some of Prince’s music, I wouldn’t say he’s in my top 10 of people I want to have a beer with!  Mind you, it could be worse… Lionel …. just saying Nat… ;)