Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Osaka Monaurail:100 Club London 9/05/2016

Om1 Om2 Om3 Om4 Om5 On7 Om7

Japan's finest funkateers were back in town and appearing at the historic 100 club it was time to jump on the goodfoot and hightail it down Oxford St for some Osaka magic. Apologies for missing support band,Primo Nelson but by all accounts they played a blinder!

So on to the main agenda as the band hit the boards and the excitement levels are raised.Blue suits and flashy ties flood the stage accompanied by funky bass, beats and jammin' horns with absolutely mind blowing grooves to highlight this electrifying performance, but make no mistake the funk they laid down from the beginning, bolstered the foundation of their good-time sounds and musical sophistication of the genre. No one has that 68'JB vibe down as well as these guys.They veer off too,giving way to a much more urbane form of dancefloor soul and jazzy excursions. But this performance is as hot, sweaty, and full of backbone slip groove as anything else.

Is it even conceivable to give OM a bad review? It's Osaka Freaking Monaurail ! Throughout the gig the sharp suited leader,( of 24 years!) Ryo Nakata never lets the people get bored, shifting to change the beat on the drops or drop some fresh jive on the keyboard and then letting his hornmen and wizz duel guitarists (their lead man is an absolute master of the wah wah) take the spotlight for a bit. Of course, the attending fans were treated to the quintessential "Fruit Basket",from their current album 'Riptide' and of course lots of James Brown moves and grooves including 'Hot Pants Road' and "Sex Machine" and others besides.....
People milled out of the club awash with merchandise and the experience everyone took away from a concert like this are bound to differ, but one constant remains true: They all just saw the best funk show they will every see in their lives.Snowboy,who also played a blinding 45 deejay set, was right, they are simply the best out there especially if you never saw the JB's in their prime!
Words Emrys Baird

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