Did you know that George Michael’s Faith was based on a 12th century manuscript? And that it rocks to a Bo Didley beat? Tom (the Pom) Harding provided these facts — and more — while he wooed his willing workshop audience at Friday night’s two-part Disco Funk Workshop at the Coorparoo Bowls Club.
Tom’s a master strummer. To achieve perfection like his, it’s extremely important that you position your uke correctly (on your pie shelf), use your arm like a crankshaft (not a piston) and make hand movements like “a pinch of salt”. Tom exuberantly took us through On the Road with different parts, wittily calling out the “postcodes” for chords. He followed up with a rousing rendition of Video Killed the Radio Star, ….. Something by Beautiful Sharks, brilliantly illustrating his mastery of rhythm and melodic voice.
In the 2nd part of the workshop, Tom shared his motto, “subdivision gives funk”. He gave examples of different rhythms in Fast Car, Material Girl, and Coming Out. Counting is King! Simple 4/4 beat counting is transformed by placing emphasis on 3rds, 5ths, 8ths – and – grooving to a 16 beat Bo Didley rhythm (while chanting I – like – fish – and chips). The promised funkenado evolved, swelling into a rousing finale.
Tom’s a high-octane rhythm master who can keep a group toe-tapping for two hours, with plenty of humour. So-oo glad we went, thanks Tom!
By The Spectator.