Dutch music magazines hardly write a sentence about FUNK while most funk concerts in The Netherlands are sold out, like Prince and George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic this summer at Paradiso. A false rumor that Bootsy Collins was going to perform at the Melkweg in Amsterdam last Sunday with DJ Afrojack en Snoop Dogg was spread in no time, and made many Dutch funk fans excited.
How can it be that funk music, especially funk from Dutch artists and bands are so underappreciated? The editorial staff of leading Dutch music magazine OOR was asked why they haven’t spent a word on the 25 year jubilee of the longest existing funk band in The Netherlands. Their reaction was: “We don’t like funk so much”. Other Dutch music magazines responded the same way or didn’t respond at all.
In other European countries there are websites and magazines that write only about funk, and nothing but the funk. Not here. The Dutch music press gives minimum attention to funk music, maybe because pop journalists like Paul Manak (OOR) and Geert van Itallie (now managing director at the Melkweg), who are specialists in this genre, quit writing for magazines. Our National funk professor Sjeng Stokkink now writes reviews for Jazzism, a jazz magazine (only appearing every two months) where releases of mayor labels get priority treatment over a release of for example Seven Eleven Records.
But now there’s FUNKBLOG.NL, an initiative of Funk to the Max Records, Seven Eleven and web designer Soulgood. FUNKBLOG.NL informs readers (in Dutch) what’s going on about FUNK in The Netherlands. FUNKBLOG.NL is a platform for fans and funklovers where they can read and respond on funk news and stories. On FUNKBLOG.NL you’ll read how and when fans have experienced FUNK for the first time, about the best funk concert in Holland ever and stories about funk bands and funk artists.
Just keeping the funk alive in the Netherlands.
The tourschedule of Seven Eleven in November starts tomorrow with a concert of rapper Are MC at a sold out ‘Uje Swingt‘. It’s the opening of a brand new concert hall in theater ‘Markant’ in Uden (NL). Are MC will be supported by Jewl on vocals, Dice on guitar and Dodge on bass.
Next week Seven Eleven has three concerts in the Netherlands with Incognito (UK): Thursday November 14th at Luxor Live in Arnhem, Friday November 15th at Tivoli in Utrecht and finally on Sunday November 17th at De Pul in Uden.
Only at Luxor drummer Hans van den Hurk a.k.a. ‘Captain Hurk’ is part of the Seven Eleven line-up. After that Hans will be touring in Europe with Gloria Estefan, Wyclef Jean, Amy Macdonald and Hiromi until December 23rd as part of the anual ‘Night Of The Proms‘ circus. Chris Mohrhenn a.k.a. King Chris’m replaces Captain Hurk at Tivoli and De Pul.
In December the band hopes to finish their new album ‘Back to the source’. More about that later.
One of P-Funk’s most appreciated and dedicated followers is Funkateer Genius, editor of P-Views which was the exclusive news-report for members of the Bootzilla fanclub in the nineties. Genius spontaneously sent us this review of our jubilee album, which is also published on his Facebook-page:
Seven Eleven – 25 Years and still funkin’
(© 2012 Seven Eleven Records)
25 years. Really? Has it been that long? Having met the band in the early 90s they have really come a long way. This compilation is either a perfect introduction to premier Dutch Funk Band Seven Eleven or a chance to catch up on some forgotten gems. But there are also some previously unreleased or hard to find songs on this jubilee album.
Like the first two tracks ‘Get the funk outta here’ and ‘Funk Instruction’ that had only been available on a rare Dutch compilation ‘Funkin’ Delight’ which was released in 1989. For me these tracks are good enough reason to get the whole CD. Not having heard them before they sound like a time capsule to the beginning of the band. ‘Get the funk outta here’ just blew me away, Dodge’s bass work is incredible, sounds like a mixture of Mark King of Level 42 and Louis Johnson. No trademark Mutron sound on that track, just because the equipment broke down on the recording day, Dodge told me now.
‘Funkin’ the city (live)’ is another song that’s only available on a compilation ‘Camelpop ‘93’ from 1994 which starts with the Mutron Bass alright before the horns kick in. The next two tracks are taken from the Seven Eleven debut-album ‘The Come Out’ which was produced by Menace and released in 1996. ‘Unfunky Bitch’ has a great rap performance by Are MC, who also steels the show in ‘Good life’. Agin, both songs have catchy horn parts.
‘We ain’t here to funk’ (from the 1997 album “Splank! The Trunk ‘o’ Funk compilation Pt. 2″) is another Funk stomper, now featuring their new lead singer Jewl. The next track is the 12”version of ‘Unfunky B.I.T.C.H.’ with the original singer U-Gene on lead vocals. There are more guest appearances to be found on this jubilee album: the anthemic ‘Say P-Funk’, like the previous song released in 1999, starts with original Rubber Band singer Gary ‘Mudbone’ Cooper.
The two following tracks ‘Party!’ and ‘Dirty frog’ (with a Maceo-sounding horn section), are taken from their 2000 release ‘Get ‘m down!’, full of live-recordings remixed by handieMan Maurice.
I guess it’s obvious to whom the next song is dedicated: ‘Fred’ is a previously unreleased live recording of the band’s energetic concert in Paradiso, Amsterdam, in 2002.
Rapper Brainpower is featured on the first of three tracks from the studio-album ‘Hot ‘n’ funky’ (2003): ‘Turn it up’. The aforementioned Fred Wesley returns the favor and guests on ‘Shake the cake’, while the incredible funky guitar work of Dice sets the tone for ‘Gimme the funk’.
‘Hot ‘n’ funky’ from the album ‘Live in Paris’ (2006) highlights Captain Hurk on the drumship Enterprise.
The final song is the previously unreleased ‘Piece of the funk’, recorded in 2008 with excellent keyboard sounds courtesy of Keyflow, another great track worth the price alone for this compilation.
So either you’ve never heard of this band before and will love all this new music or you’re already a fan, like myself, reminiscing on the old days and finding old but new material from this great Funk band. It makes me look forward to their new album: ‘Back to the Source’, to be released soon.
Get ‘25 Years’ now at reduced price!: http://www.challengerecords.com/product/1349177683
September 14th Seven Eleven will perform at ‘We Love The Funk’, held at the Groene Engel (Green Angel) in Oss (NL). This special event proves that Funk is very much alive in the Netherlands. The show starts with funky rapper Timmie Tex, followed by the funkrock of Turbo Monster. Seven Eleven will then tear the roof off the sucker as the main act.
This summer Seven Eleven toured in France and opened for George Clinton & Parliament / Funkadelic in Paris. The band also did a duo concert with Incognito in Bonneville. Earlier this year the Dutch champions of funk played in Oss at the open air ‘Come Out And Play Festival’ downtown. Seven Eleven are affiliated with Oss; drummer Captain Hurk and bass player Dodge originate from this town in the South of Holland. The band rehearsed there for many years.
As a special treat at ‘We Love The Funk’, keyboard player and homie JurgMeister from Oss will stand in for Keyflow, the regular keyboard banger from Seven Eleven. Time to put on your dancing shoes…
Friday September 13th at midnight Seven Eleven will funk up the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam. The band presents new material from the forthcoming album Back to the Source (release: January 2014) and also energetic funk tracks from their previous albums.
Before the Late Night show of Seven Eleven the evening starts with a concert of the Icelandic formation Mezzoforte, who had a mayor hit in the eighties with Garden Party. The group plays instrumental funk and fusion. Many radio stations used en still uses their music as jingle. Last year Mezzoforte celebrated their 35 year anniversary and the band is still going strong. They will prove that Friday at the North Sea Jazz Club.