Last Friday, MonoNeon performed a funktastic gig in front of a voracious capacity crowd at Birkenhead’s Future Yard.
Yeah, it was funky, jazzy, and fusiony and just what the doctor ordered. The supporting act was no less exciting – Liverpool’s 70s jazz fusion 5-pice ensemble, Green Tangerines.
Hailing from the US and bringing his only UK gig to Birkenhead, Dwayne Thomas Jr. (AKA MonoNeon) wouldn’t have struggled with filling his setlist – the man is prolific, I mean he is just a music machine. Since 2010, he has released twenty-four solo albums (including three this year alone) and has still found time for collaborating with seven other artists.
The blurb goes, “A creative risk-taker in a modern music industry where so few exist.” and that’s no word of a lie – this was an innovative performance, yet there was a sense of stylistic familiarity and yet again stylistic originality. Just when you feel as though you’re on familiar territory – Boom! – it magically travels tangentially somewhere totally unexpected, taking you on an unexpected frenzied musical journey.
The man is talented, of that there is no doubt, but don’t let this distract you from the fact that the other musicians are a hive of mega-talent as well.
For me, the two standouts from the setlist were “Am I Trippin'” and “Supermane” and I’m sure many people will disagree, but with such an extensive catalogue to choose from each person could have their own favourites all under MonoNeon’s umbrella of majestic funkiness.
This was a Parrjazz promotion and they certainly chose the right venue. Despite this not being an ‘in-house’ event, Future Yard really is pulling out all the stops with their programme – it is innovative, exciting and judging by Friday night’s Parrjazz promoted MonoNeon performance, just what Birkenheaders want.
MonoNeon is a bassist/musician from Memphis, Tennessee and has been playing bass since began teaching himself to play at the age of four.
It was his eclectic artistry on the bass that first caught Prince’s attention in 2014. His manager reached out to Mono and he ultimately began working at Paisley Park in early 2015 as the bassist for Judith Hill, an artist Prince worked with during the last year of his life.
In late 2015, Prince formed a new band with Mono, Kirk Johnson, Donna Grantis and Adrian Crutchfield. Mono and Prince performed a number of concerts at Paisley Park, and also recorded and release the track, RUFF ENUFF. MonoNeon was the last bassist Prince hired before he passed away.
Future Yard, Argyle Street, Birkenhead.
Images: GlamGigPics http://www.instagram.com/GlamGigPics