Live Review: George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic at Vicar Street

Hot Press got an indication of the night ahead when it ran into George Clinton and his lady friend in the smoking section beforehand. He was wearing some class of psychedelic dressing gown, woven from what looked like the pelts of several hundred small animals that had all overdosed on the crazy pills. Funkier than a sack of Limburger.

The stage barely managed to contain the revolving cast of characters; I counted sixteen performers at one point. Nubile young ones dressed as intergalactic sex kittens, Baron Samedi and Chuck D lookalikes, a drummer dressed like a G.A.A. linesman, and my own personal favourite, a space pimp in a white fur suit with matching hat, dancing like a Russian gymnast. Research indicates this may be the fabled Sir Nose d'Voidoffunk, but we can’t be sure. Imagine Bez finally taking enough drugs to go back in time only to find himself in Harlem in the early seventies and you would be close. Directing them all, King George resembled a proud grandfather at the trippiest family reunion imaginable.

Reviews usually detail the songs played but really it was one long groove, a relentless barrage, with minor variations, aimed squarely at your feet and ass, although ‘One Nation Under A Groove’ and ‘Flash Light’ did stand out. As, alas, did ‘Maggot Brain’ which, in it’s first minutes, reminded you where Prince copped some ‘Purple Rain’ inspiration, but, several hours later, the guitarist still noodling away, it had all gone a bit Steve Vai.

Never mind, the music was so infectious I suspect if it were playing while someone confessed to running over your dog, your foot would still tap. The room was euphorically knackered by the Springsteenian duration. Ever see They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? It was like that.



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