Global Funk Orchestra
Red Box, Dublin, June 11th, 2000
The Global Funk Orchestra is a twenty-something piece funk experience with lots of percussion, a string quartet, trumpets, keyboards, saxes, trombone, guitar, bass, flute and two singers. Sound like a lot of fun? In the Red Box on Sunday night most people thought so - the place was full of happy people shakin' their booty, gettin' down/on up etc. etc. The singers are real stars - sassy, sexy and golden-voiced - and the flute playing was as funky as you could ask for. It had all the makings of a great evening.
But ... they never really FUNKED, y'know? The sound was poor, and all we had in the all-important low end was mush - just too many instruments for an engineer to deal with, perhaps? The band as a whole just wasn't tight enough, the strings had tuning problems all the way through and were largely superfluous, and the brass section was dreadful - bum notes, out of time, out of tune, and when they weren't playing they stood up the back talking and laughing like a bunch of schoolboys.
The evening was not without its high points (the funk version of 'Also sprach Zarathusa' was cool). When things came together they came together pretty well and most of the audience seemed to love it. Overall however it was disappointing, but there's probably nothing wrong that some adjustments to the line-up (less is more...) and a lot more rehearsal couldn't solve.