George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic Live at Caloundra Music Festival 2017

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic or Xavier Rudd: whose show would you have chosen at Caloundra Music Festival 2017? It’s a no-brainer right? We want the funk! Gotta have that funk.

Unfortunately for most festival goers they didn’t choose the funk. Why, is beyond my comprehension. But it made for a special, intimate and mind-blowing experience for those of us who wisely joined George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic for the 50th anniversary show of their first hit single “(I Wanna) Testify”.

George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic live concert 2017

George Clinton live at Caloundra Music Festival 2017

Those two precious hours spent listening to George Clinton and three generations of P Funk family members passed in a glorious flash. Even after their long haul flight to Australia with two preceding shows in different cities and despite a very average sound mix at the stage, the group still performed an extraordinary show which brilliantly showcased five decades of music created by and profoundly influenced by Parliament Funkadelic in its many incarnations.

This was a refreshingly different set to Parliament Funkadelic shows I’ve seen in recent years. Yes we got the always awe-inspiring experience of hearing Blackbyrd McKnight’s wailing guitar in “Maggot Brain” and saw the usual acrobatic dance appearance from Mr Nose (aka Carlos McMurray) in “Flashlight”. And we most definitely got the funk and more funk with other classics like “Atomic Dog”, “One Nation Under a Groove”, “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)” and “Not Just Knee Deep”. But some songs were changed up with slower tempos than the original versions. Plus we got an unexpected heavy metal hard-on when Trafel Lewis (God’s Weapon) led the group in “Dirty Queen”.

Dirty Queen by Funkadelic featuring God’s Weapon – first ya gotta Shake the Gate

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We also “jumped our hip hop-happy asses” ’round more than usual as they performed over a sample of Kendrick Lamar’s “Wesley’s Theory” (which features George Clinton) and while Tra’zae Lewis-Clinton spat vocals on “Baby Like Fonkin’ It Up”. And we heard other songs from Funkadelic’s latest release first ya gotta Shake The Gate in longer, chunkier forms than more condensed medleys of them – including “Meow Meow” led by the delightful and super-talented kitty cat Brandi Scott.


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We also admirably witnessed George Clinton still jumping up and down on stage in his intergalactic get-up at the youthful age of 76. And heard him sing on the mic more so than in recent shows, including for a performance of the autobiographical tune “Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You?”.

Xavier Rudd punters and others in this world may not truly appreciate it yet. But all of us on this earth are so much richer now and forever after, to have, hear and get down to all of the music created by George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic and P Funk in its various incarnations during the past 50 years. Blessed beyond measure is anyone who gets to experience hearing that music it in its most sublime form, live.

Thanks be to George Clinton and the Australian touring members of Parliament Funkadelic for another unforgettable performance at Caloundra Music Festival 2017: Blackbyrd McKnight (guitar), Danny Bedrosian (keys), Benjamin “Benzel” Cowan (drums) Lige Curry (bass), Greg Thomas (saxophone/vocals), Garrett Shider (guitar/vocals), Trafel Lewis (guitar/vocals), Thurteen, Brandi Scott, Patavian Lewis, Tonysha Nelson (vocals) and Carlos McMurray (Mr Nose).George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic live concert 2017

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