George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic @ O2 ABC, Glasgow, 10 May

Live Review

Claire Francis | 19 May 2017

If you're in any way a fan of funk music, seeing George Clinton and his Parliament-Funkadelic collective in the flesh is a watershed musical moment. As funk's most revered innovators, alongside the likes of James Brown and Sly Stone, Clinton and his crew lead the charge through funk's heyday in the 70s and have gone on to influence everyone from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primal Scream to Tupac and Dr Dre.

Embodying their collective mentality, there's a wild assortment of people on the stage at any given time during a Clinton concert – our count puts it at 16 – and the assembly makes the O2 ABC stage look positively tiny. The need for this many players becomes apparent as the sheer scale of the show unfolds, with the collective powering through their funk, soul, disco, rock and r'n'b for over two jubilant hours.

Flashlight is a killer mid-point danceathon, and the anthemic chorus of Give Up the Funk makes for a euphoric closing singalong. The indisputable highlight though is the epic guitar odyssey Maggot Brain, which has the entire venue spellbound for all ten-plus minutes of the track's mind-bending journey.

At 75 years of age, big George looks physically wearied from time to time and remains seated for a large chunk of their mammoth set, but his enthusiasm, and occasional swaggering dance moves, are wildly contagious. Some elements of their act also show their age – scantily clad female backing singers feels an outmoded concept in 2017 – but these are minor gripes in the face of a staggeringly enjoyable performance from the legendary pioneers of the funk.