It's P-Funk royalty in the shape of George Clinton, a musical totem who, since his doo-wop days as a boy in the 1950s through to the funk, soul, psychedelia and rock of Parliament in the '60s and '70s, has woven P-Funk into an enduring message that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1970 when his band Funkadelic released Free Your Mind...And Your Ass Will Follow.
Take a look in HMV and tell me what you see. For while the conveyor belt of the craven book publishing world rolls on, the art world preens and lumbers in search of the next concept, and our once glorious world of music has had its guts ripped out by the internet. Yet the musician persists in his efforts to have the cloth-eared hear his songs.
It is here in Milan, far north in the Bel Paese [Italy, the "beautiful country"], that a cultural pragmatism has attracted those of a more refined musical streak. And it is at Biko, a club not far from the throng of the city centre, that Trio Valore has convened to play to a Milanese crowd intent on devouring live music as would they their mammas' pasta e fagioli. It's a crowd of stylists who want to dance, and they do.
Think of Sly and the Family Stone, Dexys Midnight Runners and The Specials. Then think again, because the clue's in the name. Their sound is a fine blend of all that has come to pass, from the blues and early R'n'B, all the way up through to soul and ska and the new wave, so theirs is a solid musical grounding.
I recently caught up with Jonzey (Tim Jones) of King Porter Stomp to talk about the band's eagerly awaited sophomore record, Shuffle.
This vibrant raucous second single from the 4-piece band Benin City does just that with a massive cherry on top! Named after the Nigerian state capital, this London-based band consists of the members: Theo Buckingham (drums), Faye Treacy (Trombone/BVs), Tom Leaper (Tenor Saxophone/Samples/Synths) and Joshua Idehen (Vocals). Although they have only been going since 2009, the tight musical chemistry as demonstrated in their material since then, and this current single, is second to none and really inspiring to hear from such a "young" band.