Arts & Entertainment

George Clinton

PHOTO: William Thoren

George Clinton is undoubtedly a music industry legend. He ranks alongside Sly Stone, James Brown and Jimi Hendrix as a pioneer and major proponent of funk, soul and psychedelia. His career spans some 50 years, and at age 76, the vintage performer is still pumping the groove on stage.

In February this year, he and a contemporary line-up of his band, Parliament-Funkadelic embarked on the Mardi Gras Madness tour around the USA – and they haven’t stopped moving yet.

From September 22, Parliament-Funkadelic will begin yet another tour which starts in Rhode Island, USA then does a massive detour to take in Melbourne, Sydney and Uluwatu(Indonesia) before returning to do more dates along the West Coast, USA.

If reviews of previous concert tours are anything to go by, fans are in for a crazy good time. Audiences have been on their feet and singing from the first familiar blasts of raw funk, and the demographics of the crowd prove Clinton is still garnering new devotees. High energy favourites like Flash Light and One Nation Under The Groove have proven to be reliable show-stoppers, while the anthemic Give Up The Funk has just about evinced hysteria.

Clinton began his career as a staff writer for Motown before eventually forming his own band, The Parliaments (later just Parliament). Issues with a record label forced him to adopt an alternative band name for a while – Funkadelic. Over time, after recording and performing under both names they ultimately settled on Parliament-Funkadelic.

In his early days as a performer Clinton and his band were revolutionaries, defying conservative boundaries with outrageous behaviour on stage along with ostentatious and provocative costumes. Clinton developed his own sound which he dubbed “P-Funk”. It was grungy, audacious and trippy. During the 70s, Parliament/Funkadelic dominated the R&B charts, with over 40 hit singles and three platinum albums. Clinton and his band were responsible for creating the riffs and motifs that would later be snapped up as samples by dozens of rap artists including Dr Dre, LL Cool J, Snoop Doggy Dog and MC Hammer.

During the 80s, Clinton was vehemently sought out as a producer, working with Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bootsy Collins, Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube and Outkast among many others. He also appeared in several movies including House Party, The Night Before, Good Burger and a number of television shows. In 2015 at Glastonbury, Clinton shared the stage with Mary J Blige, Grandmaster Funk and Mark Ronson in a rendition of Ronson’s Uptown Funk.

Throughout the course of his esteemed career Clinton has received a Grammy, a Dove (gospel), an MTV music video award, has been recognised by Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), the NAACP Image Awards, and the Motown Alumni Association for lifetime achievement. Clinton’s Parliament/Funkadelic was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

Don’t pass up this chance to witness Clinton play in Sydney for one night only.

Sep 28, 8pm. Max Watt’s Sydney, 122 Lang Rd, Moore Park. $100.85+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.maxwatts.com.au/sydney