Fatback Band - May 2006
BACK? A FAT CHANCE OF THAT
So, how do you like your funk? In fat slabs of guitar-driven
danceability,with a side dish of demanding drums? Or thinner slices of sax-led
jazz, with trumpet accompaniment and a keyboard relish? Either way-YumYum,
Yup, its the Fatback Band, and these were the signature dishes
they served up on Saturday May 13th 2006 at Dunstable Leisure Centre-while
an enthusiastic Cali-r crowd gobbled up all that was on offer until there was
no more room for anymore.
who can blame them for being greedy? The Fatback Band dish up HUGE helpings,
and there really is something for everyone.
OK, maybe you're
not so fond of the newer, jazzier offerings on the musical buffet table, but,
what's this? why, here come some dishes of Party People...and Bus Stop ...
and Spanish Hustle...
Founding member and drummer Bill Curtis and the rest of the band laid down
a marker from the moment hey hit the stage, throwing garlands and imitation
'bling" to the crowd.
Then it was up with the instruments and on with
show. Ninety minutes later they finished, and at no time did they stop playing,
segueing from one number into another with hardly an introduction all night.
It was top-quality, marathon playing by any standard, and without
signs of fatigue from a band that had spent seven days flying to shows-from
America to London, to Spain, back to London, to spain gain and to Dunstable,
before leaving for America on Sunday and then to Japan on Wednesday Not bad
for an outfit that has at least two men in the line up in their 70s.
Two of the younger members, bassist Pete Everett and singer
Quinette Simpson, plus veteran trumpeter George Williams," did the Bus
Stop" down among
the dancers before recruiting a contingent on to the stage to form the Fatback/Cali-R
All Singing and Dancing Revue. Marvellous stuff.
Everett and saxophonist Ed Jackson, who has worked with practically
everybody from Count Basie to Melba Moore, were outstanding, but gluing the
whole thing together were Curtis, sat way back behind his drums, and a tiny
figure of fellow founder member Johnny King, practically immobile behind a
guitar that produced an insistent chugging rhythm and "defy you not
to dance" riffs.
The climax was an anthemic I Found Lovin, with the band giving
a nod to the late Steve Walsh, the DJ took into the charts by chanting "You
wot! You wot!", prompting a response from the crowd that nearly tore the
roof off the centre.
After 36 years the Fatback Band could be excused for sitting back, resting
on their laurels and taking the nostalgia route.
There was no sign of evidence of that on Saturday, and Bill
Curtis certainly is having none of it. He believes that while its important
to maintain the legacy of the bands back catalogue, he wants to produce music" of
the time" and
that the best is still to come-" even if nobody else does.