Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Freakpower + Weekend Sun: Borderline London 24/03/18

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Good to see the return of Weekend Sun to the big smoke once again, the doyens of Darlington seemed to have toughened up their sound with a groovy new keys player locking in with their ever dependable rhythm section.The music is a cross between soul, rare groove, disco and a lovely bit of northern.

New singer Karlene has bought character and substance to proceedings and is a heck of a good singer the old school charm of "Darkness" and the upbeat bounce of "You Are Not My Problem Now" are the perfect vehicle for this self deprecating soulstress. With a little bit more razzle dazzle and self belief, they could definately be a force to be reckoned with which nicely brings us onto headliners, the one and only Freakpower!

Showmanship is second nature to head honcho Ashley Slater the irrepressible frontman extraordinaire and his die hard flock are ready to receive his funked out sermons on sex, money and drugs backed by a crack ace session like band: featuring icing on the cake bv's from Kate Cameron and Scarlett Quinn,top guitarist and trailblazer, Tony Remy whose taut rhythmic guitar and meaty lead soloing were an absolute joy and bass player Dean Mark, incredibly making his debut with the band, laying down the funk foundations to what turned out to be (despite a few sound issues) a thrilling and absorbing night.

Their classic album and anthem of the 90's "Drive Thru Booty" was well represented including seminal tracks such as "Rush", the fab "Moonbeam Woman" and the downtempo Hendrix type vibe of "Freakpower Is Beautiful Baby" which was one of several highlights leading the way for their evergreen hit "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out" a hypnotic epiphany and sprawling masterpiece delivered by the side-hogging singer who is now so immersed in the show he pushes it to an elongated groove allowing the keys player to shine and take centre stage with her startling solo, let's face it this band swing like a motherfu@£er and their fans know just how mesmeric the raspy and growly Slater (the original Rag 'N' Bone Man) really is and with a tough new sounding EP ("United State" coming out late April) breathing new energy into the band, coupled with this animated performance, the future looks bright for a successful return to the limelight, basically tonight was sheer dynamite!
Words Emrys Baird

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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