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Taken from SceneStr (May 01, 2019)

George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic Sydney Review @ Enmore Theatre

by Jareth Leslie-Evans

George Clinton at 2019 Bluesfest. Image supplied
George Clinton at 2019 Bluesfest. Image supplied

For over 50 years, George Clinton's interstellar mothership from Planet Funk has circumnavigated our humble little planet in many forms. Though none have been more chaotic, loopy and downright influential than Parliament-Funkadelic.

Their sound is the soul of Black America - a groove rinsed in LSD and sci-fi pomp. They shook the globe with unparalleled trippy rhythms, hell bent on sticking the funk in as many places as they saw fit - wherever their glittery spaceship landed huge parties ensued.

So it goes without saying for its last venture to Australia, Parliament-Funkadelic left Sydney exactly as it needed to be. Funked up.

Taking to the stage (Enmore Theatre, 20 April) with around 20 members - I tried to count the exact number, but the performers were constantly revolving and changing outfit - the stage was pure revelry.

From faces both seasoned and new, there was musicianship to spare, booty-popping sexiness and even a man that could stand on his own head. A feat too difficult to explain; a has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed deal.

Amid this funky calamity stood George, dressed in white like some intergalactic guru ready to spread the good word. He conducted the mothership like only a captain could - in mutual respect for his crew. While George would retire momentarily to his throne for a breather, the funky connection with his band remained intact.

With a career as lengthy as theirs, they'd have to be working on some sort of telepathic level by now. It felt like that anyway.

Bopping through genre-defining hits like 'Atomic Dog', 'Give Up The Funk' and 'Flash Light', the P-Funk navigation was at its gut-punching best. 'Maggot Brain' was truly out of this world - amazing stuff.

An unexpected turn was the band's foray into modern, trap-infused rap. I can only assume it's George's way of furthering his multi-generational musical foresight. One must not forget his gifted paws are all over the beginning of sample-based hip hop; there can be no denying the man is a genius.

The emotion was palpable as the lights came on and the band left the stage. After two and a half butt-shaking hours, Sydney saw the end of an era. An identity whose brilliance has left an indelible kiss on music history; a story of debauched grooves - the very essence of rock & roll.

So wherever you take that magnificent ship next George, I hope you spin tales of Earth's funky beauty. Thank you George Clinton.


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