Dennis Rollins’ Funky Funk – The Winston Theatre, Bristol Jazz Festival

Sunday 24th March, 2019

Well when a gig is called Funky Funk you buy a ticket, right? Who wouldn’t want to get down and funky on a Sunday evening? My heart said yes, my tired and achy body had other ideas and was pleased that this was seated. In many ways that is a shame as I feel this, of all the gigs I saw over the course of the Jazz & Blues Festival would have been better in atmosphere for being standing. People needed to be able to get up and dance, to shake their hips and groove to the funk. Which is pretty difficult in chairs in a polite theatre space in Clifton.

Getting into this gig was even worse than the night before, the queue was cramped, crowded (two events starting at the same time in a tiny corridor was not a good idea) and made me feel pretty scared. We were kept waiting by a full length sound check that started late due to an overrunning previous gig. Not cool.

Dennis Rollins is, however, cool. Very cool. As were his band. They thundered through some uptempo and groovy tunes that certainly delivered on the promised title. Cameron Pierre on guitar slayed it, making noises and sounds that were terrific. There were bass solos! A relentless rhythm punched out on the drums and  the brass duetting of trombone and alto sax.

I feel like I should have enjoyed this more than I did. Perhaps if it had have been on later and in a standing venue I would have, it didn’t feel suited to the early evening time slot if I’m honest. That said, it delivered on its promise of being damn funky and hearing great musicians play is never time wasted.





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