James Brown
James Brown Leeds Uni 04.05.02

James Brown has become a household name all over the world for his influential workings on the R&B, Soul and Funk scenes. The Godfather of Soul is now 69 and is still working wonders.

The star is also famous for "breaking the barrier" into the white music scene with such huge hits as: I Feel Good, Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and Sex Machine, these tracks all feature on his latest release The Godfather James Brown.

Before the age of 20, James had already been arrested and sent to prison on a drugs charge. This was later followed by an incident in 1988 when "The godfather" earned himself a 6-year prison sentence. (Only 3 were served.)

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That was then. This is now…

7.30, the doors opened into the venue for the night ahead. Fully expecting Mr. Brown to keep us waiting at least an hour, it came as no surprise when he did!

With no support band for the evening, his implausible band were first to take the stage. All in all there were more than 15 people on stage and every member remained tight all evening, it was a great privilege to see so many fantastic musicians all-playing so well.

With a lot of "give it up for James Brown" "he's the man" and "soul brother number 1" going on from the band to get the audience hyped, James finally took to the stage showing incredible stamina for a old man. Jumping from conducting his band to playing the keyboard, a little singing and a few rare moves I was amazed by his energy.

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Half way through the night James handed the stage over to a lady. He announced her as " The new Janis Joplin" to be fair the only resemblance I could see between her and Janis Joplin was that Janis was bullied a lot, this happened to be the case with the audience.

James only sang 4 songs starting off with the spine melting This is A Mans World, this was what everyone was waiting for and believe me it was worth the wait.

Other songs played during the night were Try Me, I Feel Good and off course the minimalist funk classic Sex Machine, this was also sang by one of James's band. Whilst James was not singing he kind of pulled his weight by playing the keyboards. In this song there is a very high note that is held for a long period of time, this was also not sung by James.

Unfortunately we were not blessed with an encore by the star, but we got what we paid for and that was to see a true master at work.

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