jefferytv coverage of Long Beach Funkfest 2010 (August 8th) began upon our arrival around 12:15pm with the start of the Orgone set on the smaller Chico stage. Fanny Franklin led a cover of Funkadelic’s “Cosmic Slop” to close their set in tribute to P-Funk legend Garry Shider. Guitarist Arik Marshall was spotted in the early festival crowd.
The festival had 2 stages on the promenade amongst the many open businesses and vendor tables. But if there was an issue with this years event it would be the narrow path alley way between stages and lack of signs for direction. (I felt weird asking the events MC Vincent where the other stage was as he walked by). More than one music promoter expressed concerns that guests would arrive at one stage when the crowd and entertainment was at the other and be unsatisfied. However this minor detail did not seem to diminish the large crowd or the mood of this event as it was packed and very joyous.
Rickey Vincent was the MC and kept things moving with his funktified crowd direction and tasteful commercial efforts.
The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown is a musical project which utilizes musicians from many bands including George Clinton & the P-Funk Allstars. Minutes after Orgone, they kicked it up on the Armarillo (main) stage with P-Funk Allstar Saxophonist Greg Thomas amongst the several horns. With Bobby Easton, the event’s originator and driving force, on guitar vocalists Rev. Desmond D’Angelo (The Soular System), Novena Carmel (Babystone), Patryce “Choc’let” Banks (Graham Central Station), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone, Trulio Disgracias) joined in to perform a rousing extended version of the Parliament’s “Testify.” A cover of The Soular System’s “Hot Sauce” was followed by Funkadelic’s “I Bet Ya” with Norwood Fisher on bass. Patryce “Choc’let” Banks took the lead and the band really got it moving with a Graham Central Station hit. Novena Carmel also stepped forward to lead a spirited cover of Sly Stone’s “Sing A Simple Song.”
Back to the Chico stage where Lonnie Marshall’s project LiL Big Ups opened the set for the Marshall led Weapon Of Choice which consisted of DeWayne “Blackbyrd” McKnight on guitar and Phillp “D” Fish on drums along with regular members Spankie Valentine, Elizabeth Lea and Mark Cross. Norwood Fisher (the drummer’s brother) joined W.O.C. and dropped a rap on “Count Mackuluv.” This ensembles version of the closer “Highperspice” was said to be as tight as “gnat booty.”
The Original Stone City Band took the main stage next taking no prisoners. With their lead singer from Youngstown, Oh who resembles the late Rick James down to the braids and mustache, the Buffalo crew performed Punk Funk classics “Give It To Me Baby,” “Mary Jane,” “You and I” and a very ballsy “Fire & Desire” which had comical crowd interaction as the singer searched for a female to serenade. The female vocal of this song was left undone and this anthem was performed with much respect to those that came before it. The lead singer “pulled it off” and this energy flowed right into the closing hit “Super Freak.” Though it was early, The Original Stone City Band left it tore up and the crowd screaming as a nice little message to the headliner.
Would “Punk Funk” turn out “P-Funk” and be the talk of LBFF 2010? With the P-Funk Allstars touring Europe can these P-Funk players hold their own with the “Ladies Of P-Funk” as headliners?
To be continued…