Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

Welcome To B&S



Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival 2012 - Moseley,Birmingham (Sunday) 1st July 2012

Exclusive backstage photo: George Clinton
Exclusive backstage photo: George Clinton Parliament Funkadelic's guitarist Pianist Reuben James and Jazzlines Ensemble Steve Ajao Steve Ajao Miles Levin Zoe Rahman Zoe Rahman Neil Cowley and dinosaur! Fred Wesley pic Fred Wesley pic Fred Wesley sillouhete Fred Wesley pic Fred Wesley pic Fred Wesley playing miniature trombone Parliament Funkadelic's bassist George Clinton pic George Clinton and his grandson,rapper Tra'zae Lewis-Clinton Parliament Funkadelic's guitarist George Clinton pic George Clinton pic Sir Nose (Parliament Funkadelic) and crowd Exclusive backstage photo: George Clinton and grandson Tra-zae Exclusive backstage photo: Parliament Funkadelic's guitarist

I have discovered an oasis of peace and tranquility, tucked away between two estate agents shop premises about three miles from the centre of Birmingham. A private 11 acre, 113-year-old park complete with lake, tennis courts and pavilion, accessible only to key holders. Oh, and punters who attend the two annual folk and jazz festivals held there.

The jazz festival is in its third year and has expanded to incorporate funk and soul too, and boy what a cracking line-up they had this year. Despite the wet and mud, the three day jamboree was a sell-out and a huge success

I braved the damp and mud to bring you photos and a blow by blow account of Saturday and Sunday, headlined by Family Stone and George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic.

The full write-up and a stack of exclusive backstage photographs can be seen in the next issue of the magazine, due out in August.

But for now, here's a little taste of the fabulous artists who graced the two stages and treated soul, jazz and funk fans to a wonderful weekend of great, great music.

It was a very well run, low key, family friendly affair with a capacity of just 2,500 each day, on a compact site but more than enough space for chilling out by the lake or taking in the stands, stalls and eateries/bars. The crew and organisers worked their butts off to keep things running to time and did a marvellous job, despite the weather conditions. The sound on both stages was exemplary and even if you were at the back of the crowd, it seemed there was nowhere on the whole site which gave a less than decnt view of the main stage.

The finale to close the festival on the Sunday night, from George Clinton and his Parliament Funkadelic colleagues was an amazing two hours and twenty minutes of the best live funk most in attendance had ever heard in their lives.

Only one of two UK shows this year for GC, it was what he himself described to me backstage after the show as: "Carnival time." He was joined by up to 28 different musicians and collaborators during the show, and for the final song, George invited the backstage staff, security, friends, family and guests to get on stage and dance with him and the band. It was bedlam but great fun.

Craig Charles was MC on the main stage on the Saturday, and he also turned in a sweat-inducing DJ set on the second stage same day. Not content with that, he did the midnight performance DJ set at the after-show party at the Hare and Hounds in Birmingham's Kings Heath. Craig adding great value to the day's proceedings and warmly greeted by the crowd.

My act of the day on the Saturday is a draw between Family Stone and The Bongolian. My faves for Sunday were, of course George C and his cronies, but jazz pianist Zoe Rahman and her quartet were magnificient. She blew me away with her playing. Her version of Stevie Wonder's "Contusion" just has to be heard.

I have to say there was not one duff act on either day. I commend the programmers for booking a very balanced and varied lineup, and for giving me the chance to discover some exiting acts, new to me. Great to see and meet up with Fred Wesley too, and his New JBs band.

The festival kicked off on the Friday with Roots Manuva headlining and the likes of Ghostpoet, Gilles Peterson, Sam Redmore, Paper Tiger and Troumaca appearing.

So, enjoy these pix from the Sunday, and watch out for the next issue of the magazine for a full review and some new pix from the Sat & Sun. I'll tell you about my freak accident and leg injuries too.....................................

Sunday line-up: Main stage - Andy Hamilton's Bluenotes, Zoe Rahman Quartet, Neil Cowley Trio, Soweto Kinch, Fred Wesley & The New JB's, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. 2nd Stage: Jazzlines Ensemble, Steve Ajao, Husk, Miles Levin Quartet, Interleave, Colman Brothers.

* All pix copyright: Simon Redley *

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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