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Wild Mercury Sound - Live in America

  by Spencer Robertshaw

published: 4 / 10 / 2011

Wild Mercury Sound - Live in America


Spencer Robertshaw finds completely enthralling new James Brown concert film DVD, which was filmed in Georgia on the late Godfather of Soul's 70th birthday

Filmed at Chastan Park, Atlanta, Georgia on James Brown's 70th birthday, it is good to see the master and Godfather of Soul strutting his stuff and still firing on all cylinders as if it was 20 years previously. Backed by the JB All-stars or the Revue, as they are sometimes also called, which includes the mighty Maceo Parker (Maceo and the Macks) on saxophone, his band are absolutely tight in performance. With their synchronised strutting and playing, you are treated to see on this DVD|a very well made, precision crafted soul/funk machine in action. James Brown was the undisputed Godfather of Soul, and his powerful performance is complemented by his marvellous trouser jump suits that are mblazoned with sequins and rhinestones that shimmer as he does his ‘thang’. The band are also dressed impeccably and the matching suits match the perfect timing of the band as they perform. This was one of Brown's rules. All members of his troop had to be immaculately dressed. He bought their costumes and shoes, and if someone didn’t have their kit perfect they were in serious trouble and usually didn’t get a second chance before being given a fine or punishment. If a band member decided to leave he usually asked them to "please leave my uniforms." In James Brown's last year when the singer Will Young turned up to one session a little bit too casual, he was called in to see "Mr Brown" (as he was told to address Brown and so was everyone else) and told, "Always dress smart and always leave a party early." James Brown's hair and teeth are also perfect here. His smile and pearly whites lights up the whole stage. His hairdresser must of spent hours taming his Afro into a Hollywood mane. "The hardest working man in show business" can still also jump in and out of the splits and do the shaky shimmer which he was famous for. This is a collector's DVD as well as mainstream product. You get a performance made to get the crowd going and a couple of tracks you would not expect to have been performed. This DVD is absolutely compelling .and you can watch it over and over again and be stunned by James Brown's verve and the band's perfect timing. They work together as if they all are invisibly linked by Brown's magic. If this show were attempted by anyone else it simply wouldn’t of worked. James Brown was a force of nature and there will never be another like him. The flamboyant rocker Prince is probably the closest you can get now in terms of all round performance and glamour, but with a different musicality. An extra treat in the package is an audio CD copy of the concert. This also captures some of the energy of James Brown's performance. James Joseph Brown passed away December 25th 2006 aged 73. At his hospital bedside, his friend Paul Sargent reported that Brown said, "I’m going away tonight." The he took three long quiet breaths and fell asleep and died. It was James Brown classically to the very last – he even announced to his audience that the show was over and I can’t help but feel very emotional at the way that Brown died also with absolute dignity and professionalism – The Godfather of Soul RIP.

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