After three years of wanting to see Craig Charles, we got our groove on at his Funk and Soul Club twice in two weeks, and boy does the man know how to mastermind a party.
With a great line-up and cool venues, Craig Charles has nailed the winning formula for a fun night out with bangers, bangers, bangers, and a bitta mash. The first event we went to, for St. Patrick’s Day, was at The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London, which is a great venue that allows for space to boogie (even with a large crowd). Naturally a London venue has pricey drinks but the layout was great for a show like this, with the DJs, alongside cabaret, circus, & dance performers, visible from all angles; there were also some really cool visual projections towards the back of the main audience area. The circus acts were a nice addition to the evening, adding extra entertainment that didn’t feel like a forced selling point (as per some student nights) but an element that transforms a generic club night into a proper show. Charles even had a go himself at the fire twirling, this is a guy who loves what he does and gets properly involved in the night, bringing loads of the audience up onto stage to join the party.
The music across the evening was predominantly funk and soul, but there was such a diversity of sub-genres and styles ranging from a DJ set with Sir Funk and a live performance by the Dublin-based Booka Brass Band. At the second event, Trouve la Groove favourites The Allergies were playing an Old 45s DJ Set, so we of course kicked off our evening in the upstairs bar to some tasty mixing from the duo, in their hometown of Bristol. The venue this time was Thekla, a club that’s inside a moored boat, which is such a cool way to change things up from the usual clubbing scene; the bouncers were also some of the funniest and friendly we have ever met. This is just one of Bristol’s many selling points, you can see why the city was voted as the best place to live. Craig Charles himself was great fun on both occasions, the BBC Radio 2 host plays an assortment of classic and undiscovered tunes, with some really good covers thrown in.
Craig Charles is like one of those old school DJ’s on his radio show and he is even better live, the man just wants everyone to have a fun night, but he gives it as large as the crowd. The popularity of Craig Charles, along with his Funk and Soul Club, just highlights what people want from a night out – a variety of music, big tunes, and a proper boogie. That may sound obvious, but so many club nights out there tend to hire DJs who simply want to play for themselves regardless of what the audience are there for, take note those Disc (Knob)Jockeys. Having been to two of these nights in such a short space of time, I can honestly say that neither one felt the same, they were both so much fun and really upped the game in regards to clubbing. The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club is something you should get involved in, because it is a damn good night out.