Porretta on track once more
The Porretta Soul Festival - Europe's, if not the world's, best soul festival - has rolled round again and woken this sleepy Italian hill town from its slumbers once more. Now in its 28th year, the Thursday night here is usually an all Italian affair, with local bands taking the stage. But this year, after a performance by a band of smartly dressed Carabinieri, we were treated to a show by Japanese band Osaka Monaurail. Basically a tribute to the sounds of James Brown, they are an energetic 8 piece outfit with loads of musical talent, humour and well orchestrated routines, with a lead singer who can match James's stage craft. Numbers included Sex Machine, an Isaac Hayes tribute in the form of Walk On By, and a funky number called She's A Fruitbasket, which is one of their own. A fun way to kick off the festival.
They were followed on stage by Italian band Groove City, featuring a singer named Sabrina Kabua, who were ok, but brought to life when Goldwax recording artist Wee Willie Walker came on stage. He joined Sabrina in a duet of I Can't Stand The Rain, followed by a slow soulful version of Help and his 1960s Checker release Lucky Loser. His voice sounded great and I'm looking forward to seeing him over the weekend. MC Rick Hutton proceeded to do a couple of numbers and he was joined on stage by soul men David Hudson and Prince Phillip Mitchell. There will be much more of them over the weekend, so keep an eye on the blog. Photos wil follow soon.