“For out-and-out Funk, it does NOT get better than this!” proclaimed percussionist/deejay Snowboy after Friday night’s triumphant return of Washington DC’s Trouble Funk to London town. Having already waxed lyrical about that most memorable encounter with Trouble Funk on the very first visit to these shores back in the 1980s it seemed unlikely that that the DC crew could live up to an experience amplified by 25 years of story telling. That said, I’d been looking forward to this session for months and a combination of Snowboy’s informed enthusiasm and a knowledge that Trouble Funk have rocked hard core, inner city, African American audiences week in week out with their percussion driven, call and response funk for over three decades was enough to allay any reservations one might have had.
In fact, Big Tony and the Trouble Funk crew had no problem in transforming a north London town hall ballroom into a hands in the air, DC style Go Go session. Trouble Funk are part of an African America’s live music lineage and like the bands of eras past who toured the length and breadth of the States playing blues, rhythm & blues, jazz, soul and funk playing to hard working people and they know how to entertain.
Band leader ‘Big Tony’ Fisher has got instant gravel voiced gravitas and clearly enjoyed his one-off duel with their rhythm/lead guitarist. Their featured rapper, Shaza – The Go Go Godson, whipped up the crowd and peppered the set with old school rhymes. These boys (and one Lady!) have always had a soft spot for P-Funk and tonight’s no different. Trouble Funk throw down spacey bass driven rhythms that are underpinned and propelled along by powerhouse funky drummer Emmet Nixon and and their new percussionist Geronimo – the name says it all. You could feel the bounce through that sprung wooden dancefloor.
Trouble Funk know how to drop the BOMB but they also know how to communicate. They work the crowd in the same way the late great Go Go legend, Chuck Brown, did. They deliver all the hits and before you know it you’re hooked in on the call and response vocals and flicking a wrist to ‘Let’s Get Small’ while dippin’ in unison with the rest of the crowd.That’s the FUNK… DC style… it comes in waves and one things for sure, it still smokin’ and it makes everybody smile.
All aboard the Trouble Funk Express!
BIG RESPECT to Adrian Gibson (AGMP) for having the vision to host the Trouble Funk crew and the man called Snowboy for a killing, pure vinyl, warm-up set of super rare Go Go mixed with the odd anthem!
Pic of ‘Big Tony’ by Snowboy!