Born out of a coming together at a recent Reindeer session of Lady Dove’s Funk Club it was decided to get Mondatta Funk back together for a ten-year reunion gig. The Norwich Arts Centre was booked and they duly sold out and packed the place out. A real Norwich occasion with so many familiar faces in the audience and the bar, many dressed to the nines for this celebratory and triumphant gig. Lady Dove’s Funk Club itself returns for its next instalment at The Reindeer this Thursday (20th).
Support came from Mengelmoes, a new-ish Norwich band who I have heard much about and who have been making waves but this was my first time catching them. I’m a bit late to the party. They certainly play with the right spirit and have a lead singer who is a tremendous and charismatic frontman. The crowd loved them.
After a 10-year hiatus Mondatta Funk are back! Join an extra special party with the Mondatta Funk Explosion – ten-year reunion special. Original music influenced by artists such as Sly and the Family Stone, Marva Whitney and James Brown.
Starting as a modest four-piece, Mondatta Funk could regularly be seen tearing up venues from 2005-2009, completing their run with two sell-out Explosion performances as a 13-piece band, complete with percussion, horn section and the then Stihouettes ( now Voxettes). High energy, big sounds and a neatly sewn in pocket, Mondatta Funk had Norwich funk fans jumpin’ at the celebrated Norwich Arts Centre.
Lead singer Lauren Dove ( The Dove and Boweevil Band) along with former bassist Kieran Brennan have recently set up local jam night ‘Lady Dove’s Funk Club’ due to a gap in the jam band scene. It was at the jam that the former Mondatta Funk members played together again for the first time since 2009.
With any 10 year reunion the expression ‘go big or go home’ comes to mind and so it is with great pleasure that we are bringing back the whole Explosion line-up. A host of talent for one night only. Featuring celebrated Norwich guitarist Mark Howes (aka Boweevil, The Vagaband), bassist Kieran Brennan (Polymer 5) and drummer Chris Griggs ( Groovapolitan). Other familiar faces include The Voxettes (Johanna Heron, Ruby O Callaghan, and Laura White), Simon Jarrett on congas and sax (Speedometer), Andy ‘Mojo’ Robinson on keys and Sam Bramley on trumpet ( Killamonjambo). We welcome back from the original line-up, Oliver Jarvis who continues to be a prevalent session horn player in London as well as jazz and soul singer and leader of Suffolk Soul Singers, Andi Hopgood on Baritone Sax. Hailing from the US, special guest Joe Mcglohon on tenor sax. A recent addition to The Dove and Boweevil Band and whose CV includes Reba McEntire’s and Government Mule he is a welcome extra spark to the line-up. Go and buy yourself a brand new bag, Mondatta Funk are back in Norwich.
After the gig I made my way to the Louis Marchesi Crypt for the second installment of Long Swords, an eclectic mix of psych, prog, space and krautrock happening on the second Saturday of each month, which means it never clashes with Cave In, two Norwich regulars which complement each other rather well.
A couple of weeks earlier I caught some of the acoustic music put on by Milly Hirst at the Spiegeltent festival gardens, both in the tent bar area and the Spiegeltent itself to close the festival. It included a most welcome return by the wonderful Phoebe Troup after almost a year away. I love Phoebe’s songs so much, she’s one of my absolute faves and I was beyond happy to hear her play once again. I also caught great sets by Chad Mason, Andrew Taylor and Kimberly Moore with Alfie Carpenter.