photos by Chad Syme
review by Chris Estey
Orgone is the energy of orgasm, as Wilhelm Reich theorized, and this band (affiliated with the Underground Kings), coming on right before The Saturday Knights and Lee “Scratch” Perry, create a steady deep stew of funk bliss. Their song “Sophisticated Honky” found much love on KEXP this year, and their album “The Killion Floor” reminded many of the 80s go-go inspired soul-groove of Trouble Funk, and Afro-beat shamans Fela Kuti. Fanny Franklin has a more laid-back style than a certain Ms. Jones when in front of the Dap-Kings (which shares some members with Orgone), sort of like the smooth Marie Queenie Lyons compared to the raw Betty Davis. This will be in the middle of that whole funky party that afternoon/evening, and Orgone were perfect choices to offer up a soul chanteuse at the right time and place.
For their Music Lounge performance, LA’s Orgone tested the limits of the space with a three-piece horn section and dueling percussionists in the mix, jumping into a funk onslaught. As a group of steady studio musicians, they looked right at home on the small stage. A bustling nine-piece band, Orgone produces a much fuller sound than Forro In The Dark, their predecessors on the stage today. Members of the audience remained on the edge of their seats throughout the entire set, and it didn’t take long for a full-on clap-along to get started. Fanny Franklin shined on vocals, commanding the stage at times and lending minimal but much welcomed support at others. In the midst of a soulful, afro-beat tune, guitarist Sergio Rios wouldn’t hesitate to throw a rock riff in there, adding yet another dimension to this multifaceted group. The band does the occasional instrumental tune, making it seem like adding anything else would be overkill, but as soon as Franklin walks back on stage, you don’t want her to leave. Whether you’re hosting a lively backyard BBQ or a large urban festival, you can’t go wrong with Orgone. If you’ve missed them on any of their previous stops in Seattle, don’t make the same mistake again. They’re starting the party early tonight, playing the Fisher Green Stage @ 5:45PM.