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Craig Charles is without

doubt a massive household name. He’s had a long and colourful career, and while

many will know him as poet, comedian or TV star, he’s been whipping up a large fraction of the population into a funk-fuelled frenzy

every soulful Saturday night for the last 11 years with his Funk and Soul show on BBC 6Music. What Craig knows

about Funk and Soul can not be measured by talking

about it, but by the following he’s amassed, and the

legacy he leaves behind at every live date. Still, we

asked him this once to tell us a little bit about it. Craig kindly gave us his time to

talk about that and so much more…We don’t even have enough column inches to share with you what he shared with us about

working on cult shows Red Dwarf, Robot Wars,

Takeshi’s Castle or even Corrie. So there’s plenty more to read if you shoe shuffle over to 26 /October 2013/ Y

ou’re coming to Open again this month; you came not so long ago and went down a storm…

Yeah, we kind of tore the place apart when we arrived, didn't we? But then again, you know, I'm dealing with the golden era black American music, and it's very difficult to do a bad set when you're playing that kind of stuff. Plus, you know, a lot of stuff we do is very new. It's kind of stuff by bands that are recording and playing and touring now, so it's very on the ball, on the money, on the minute as well. It's not just old tunes played by a sad old man. It's new stuff as well.

Absolutely. But I did hear – and I think you'll get some insurance claims coming your way from friends of mine that haven't danced like that in years, let's say. Sore feet. Aching knees. Tat kind of thing... Oh, I've got people pulling muscles. I've got calf strings gone, hamstrings gone –

Have you not seen that ‘where there's blame there’s a claim’? It's all coming your way, mate. Disco injuries. You can't blame me. Tat's disco injuries. I get them sometimes. I came back and my hamstring, for about three or four days; I

felt like a footballer after extra time in the FA Cup, plus penalties! Because I really go for it as well, you know? But then again, it's good-time music. It's past-time music. It's party music. You know, if you're not dancing to the music, you're already dead. It's infectious, and that's the way we try and keep it. People are there to have a good time, and we're there to provide it. And you know, there's no navel gazing. I don't get too hung up with being super cool and playing tunes that no one's heard of and stuff like that. Too cool for school kind of stuff. I try and keep the dance floor bouncing.

So when you're not behind the wheels of steel, what's your relationship with the dancefloor like? Are you first on? My instructions on soul music were from my dad, you know? He came to England in the late '50s with a pocket full of change and a bag full of records, so when people were dancing to Te Beatles in Liverpool and stuff like that, I was listening to Aretha Franklin, and Ray Charles, and Nat King Cole, and stuff like that. So, I've kind of been inbred with this music from a very early age really. So, to me, it's kind of a natural thing, but a lot of people don't even know they like funk and soul until they hear it. Funk and soul is about live drums, live bass, live guitar,

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