Miss Vickery at Staines Hobgoblin

Those definitive slapping popping bass lines appear to come easily to the funkytron Miss Vickery bass player Ad Roq.

Ad is always melodically inventive, and has a way of underpinning the defining high-jinks of each song. He slaps or pops away whilst slender four o’clock shadow-man ‘Seen’  (aka the lead singer Meat Pack) – he has that taughtness of jaw-line that reminds the audience of Chris Martin – provides electric vocal tones together with buoyancy and humour to the proceedings.

The ‘Dave Grohl’ impersonator  ‘Bru’ adds crunchy guitar to the rough waves of sound creating such hectically funktastic  pieces to the process that make you just wanna jump up all together now and get the fire started. Bru is a one-man flaming groove machine. He thrills as he trills. Then, on the other side of the stage, you have a member of the band that seems to have been ‘embedded’ in the same way that those BBC correspondents are embedded with the Para’s in Afghanistan. This character – Biff- altogether seems to ignore the danger and brutality of his immediate vicinity. He wears ill-fitting combat dress and blinks in the intensity of the bright lighting. He looks damaged and slightly disturbed in the same way that Kate Adie does when she reports back from a war-zone. It is only when Biff lights up those chords on guitar do you finally realise that he is a sound-master in his own right, with vamps and bebops aplenty in his fast-tempo repertoire.

And for sure, everyone loves shiny, happy Debs. She is damn good drummer, whose lusty, yearning, pounding percussive rhythms set pulses racing and drive the motivations of this juicy band.

It is a long way from Barnwell, South Carolina to the Sunbury-on-Thames shopping centre,  from the dawning of early funk to where we are today with Miss Vickery in Staines. And some may wonder whether there is any place in this sad and depressing and distressingly ‘grown up’ demoralised world for funkyness…  as if these swinging syncopated guitar rhythms are now as obsolete as flared trousers and tie-dye T-shirts.  And the answer is definitely yes. We need entertainment. More than ever we need it now. We need those big fat juicy sounds. And we need to dance. We really do. So we ask Miss Vickery, indeed, we implore you, to take us away on your journey to Funkytown.

Due to a reliance on guitars, Miss Vickery’s brand of funk rock is less Latin-funky (UK funk) than other afro-beat sounds and yet has more syncopation and general danceable grooviness than their more ‘punk’ funk chums like ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’ or ‘Gang of Four’. With a strong rhythmic groove connection between guitars and drums playing interlocking rhythms, the band has the audience at The Hob Staines going wild with their dance hits like  ‘My Hat Loves New York’ or the naughty song ‘Name That Stain’ (renamed ‘Name that Staines’ by singer Seen on the night.) The sumptuous bass lines and the exuberant bounciness was interspersed by rhythmic hits provided by slender slices of lead guitar.

The generally rude humour and richly burlesque sounds continued with a crowd pleasing favourite ‘the Clap’ that carried the strong groove into the night air – the kind of groove that made me wanna dance out into the street and keep on going all through the night till work in the morning.

© Neil_Mach
January 2010



Ad Pontes Staines- music arts & going out IN STAINES

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