Sugarman 3 performing as part of Good Thing at the Lava Lounge, October 24. Tickets: $8. Attendance: 100. Rating: NNN
the kickoff of dj john kong'sThursday-night Good Thing party made the Lava Lounge a swingin' place to launch the Sugarman 3's funky, fine Pure Cane Sugar (Daptone) disc.Strangely enough for a club that primarily hosts DJ sessions, the Lava's house PA favoured the Sugarman 3's bass-free organ combo blast over the 70s vintage funk singles spun by residents Kong and General Electric that had precious little bottom-end thump in their bump.
The curious mods and College Street regulars who stopped in for a peek seemed too delighted with the refreshing dearth of dated house joints to grouse about the slightly shrill sound. It was less of a dance crowd determined to get down with dope dusties, though, than the typical stand-around types who show up at funk sessions to play spot-the-breaks with fellow crate diggers.
It was hardly surprising, then, that apart from the crowd-pleasing cover of the Highlighters' Funky 16 Corners, the only joint the Sugarman 3 played that got folded arms excitedly thrusting overhead was their own Funky So- And-So.
That's probably because deep funk guru Keb Darge drops it every session and included it on his tasty Funk For The 21st Century compilation disc, just issued by Kong's Do Right! label.
The lack of dance floor activity should've given the Sugarman 3 crew the green light to stretch out with more adventurous improvisations, yet for some reason they just kept plugging away at the honking three-minute shakers from their new disc.
That they didn't have any of the album's guest shouters on hand made the decision to try to play it straight all the more puzzling. Hopefully, the Sugarman 3 will get it right when they return, possibly in December.