REVIEW: Craig Charles Fantasy Weekend at Motion, Bristol - 6/10 by Thomas Dixon
PRESENTER and entertainer turned funk aficionado Craig Charles headlined a weekend-long event at Bristol's hardest working super club (Motion). Charles' event spanned three days, with the Sunday showcasing the focus of the line-up.
Charles brought together a line-up of some great names in funk, soul, dub and reggae.
Throughout the day, the five separate stages of Motion saw an array of musicians and performers prove their worth. It already appeared quite a different affair for the club that almost exclusively hosts modern dance music nights and the day promised much for Charles' Fantasy Weekender.
As night finally fell, Thundercat took to the stage with a performance that proved unique and compelling. Channelling the ghost of School Days-era Stanley Clarke, he brings new life to the six-stringed bass guitar. Commonly seen as the go-to accomplice of Flying Lotus, Thundercat's performance was a diverse medley of free jazz and funk influences. It was a truly incendiary showcase of high calibre musicianship. However his performance fell to the same flaw that seemed to plague every main stage performer. The technical team were simply unprepared for the challenge of such a vast array of different performers.
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Perhaps the worst effected by this were penultimate act Loose Ends. Marred by earlier mishaps, the band arrived on stage an hour after they were scheduled to perform. Through all the microphone feedback, they struggled to win back an already nonchalant audience. Despite the venue catering to the scale of Charles' ambition, it frankly failed to provide the adequate malleability necessary for such a breadth of performers.
Side of stage, Charles' beaming face kept the Soul Train moving. It's refreshing to see such a passionate feeling towards the artists he put on. He could be seen for the duration of the night looking down from the rafters upon every artist he had picked. His worthy DJ, Al B in the adjacent room even managed to pick up some of the slack. As the last dregs of the audience dissipated into the night, Charles had gotten mixed results. It proved a night one sincerely hopes will return next year, if only to see what exactly Charles had intended.