(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Concert review - Filthy Children

15 August 2009 (New West Fest/Bohemian Nights, Fort Collins CO)
I didn't hear much of the music at New West Fest in Ft. Collins, but I did catch most of Filthy Children's set at the Old Town Square stage. As we sat on Coopersmith's back patio for dinner and beers, we got an earful of some serious, horny funk. The volume was kicking. It was loud enough to overwhelm conversation, but sweet to the feet.

Looking at their website, I see that Filthy Children bill themselves as funk/jazz/rock, name dropping groups like Greyboy Allstars and John Schifield. Most of the material didn't quite push the edge that Karl Denson and others pass. Maybe they were trying to rein things in for this crowd. If so, the audience was ok with it: even on the outskirts, people were bopping to the beat and the front of the stage was open for dancing.

Overall, the focus was on dance oriented, straight funk. The first couple of pieces I heard were tightly orchestrated funk, with a tip of the hat to James Brown. When Jenny Anderson sang, it reminded me a lot of Spacefish, a defunct jam band group from the '90s.

They did push a little bit of jazz on a couple of numbers with the horns and guitar teaming up to play some chromatic chord riffs. One song, My Baby Got, reworked of Blood, Sweat, and Tears' Spinning Wheel. They also covered Use Me by Bill Withers, nailing a slower blues funk groove. Still the emphasis was mostly on danceable funk. The bass popped and growled and the horns drove most of the tunes. The drums were solid and the guitar mostly supported the groove. A number of the songs were instrumentals, but when the vocals were there, they were expressive and fun. On the dance funk sound, Anderson just about channeled Dee-Lite, with her laid back, sexy voice.

I'm looking forward to catching Filthy Children at a club sometime. The cask conditioned Hoppy Brown Ale I had matched well with the jams: complex and rewarding.

More photos on my Flickr.

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