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And in complete contrast to the preceding gig (Ramsey Lewis)...

We'd been looking forward to this one for months! The funkiest band in Glasgow with a live set, followed by Craig Charles (yes, that Craig Charles) doing a DJ set under the umbrella of his BBC 6Music Funk & Soul Show.

Still in the Fruitmarket, the Federation kicked off with more funk that you'd know how to deal with and the dance floor filled immediately (the venue had left all the cabaret seating out for some reason, but there was about enough space in front). They were absolutely on fire - best and tightest we've heard them, and that's saying something! Music to make you happy :). They are all fantastic musicians - you can't pick one over another as standing out. If anything, the drummer gets less credit than the rest, not having any solos and being a bit hidden at the back.

They played primarily original material, all upbeat for dancing. There was a cover of Pinball Number Count (from Sesame Street, sung on the show by The Pointer Sisters and here with vocals from the Federation in a similar octave!) which is eminently amusing and excellent at the same time. The sound was well and truly fixed for this gig - all the bass and balance you could ask for.

The set was not too long - maybe about 45min or so, since they were opening for Craig Charles really. He was in the audience briefly while they were playing. He came on stage for his set wearing a Guy Fawkes-eque mask with a red face and coloured stripes over the head - I don't know what that was all about, it was a bit creepy - but it came off after the first track anyway and didn't go back on until the last.

I had thought it was going to be more of a live recording of the radio show, or at least something similar, but it was in fact an actual DJ dance set of back-to-back tracks. But they were good tracks. He started with a bass and drums heavy version of Superstition and settled into more dance-style tracks (with plenty of horns and interest of course), but after a while he moved into more soul and older music, complete with a Sam & Dave runs of songs at one point. I don't do dancing (except ceilidhs) and I don't do nightclubs, but I loved this. We sat and enjoyed it thoroughly - I had a big grin on my face the whole night, and it was great to see people enjoying themselves so much.

Easily the best gig of the festival for me, no question.


bass dials



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