It seems like every genre of music from country to hard rock has gotten in on the holiday-concert game, almost to the point where nothing seems exciting, unique or revolutionary anymore. Thankfully, Everett Bradley’s Holidelic is running Santa’s sleigh through the funk gauntlet to get rumps shaking yet again this holiday season.
Holidelic is the creation of Bradley, an out Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, producer, actor and dancer.
The show debuted in 2002 at New York’s Joe’s Pub as a holiday funk revue cranking out high-energy and suggestive Christmas songs, inspired by outrageous live shows by funk pioneer George Clinton and his bands, Parliament and Funkadelic. To that end, Bradley plays his funky alter ego to the hilt, decked out with a glowing white afro wig, gigantic glitter-encrusted sunglasses and shiny stacked platform-heeled boots to get into character. Over the years, Holidelic has grown to a regional series of performances up and down the East Coast every December.
“It’s gotten to a point where people show up in white afros because they know the look,” Bradley said. “That’s been happening. A lot of people know the songs because they keep the album in their car all year or they just are fans that make the show a tradition every year.”
Bradley said that the show occasionally draws from the influences of other notable figures from the colorful history of funk.
“In every show, we showcase one of those bands; Cameo, Ohio Players, Earth Wind & Fire, Lakeside — we’ve done Rick James, too,” he said. “We try to find one and celebrate them.”
Bradley was a member of the E Street Band, touring with Bruce Springsteen. When PGN caught up with him, he was on an international tour as a backup singer and percussionist for Bon Jovi. How did he land that?!
“I’ve been asking myself that for years,” he said. “I could explain it with my upbringing. Most of my siblings are older than me. When I was younger, they were bringing in all these records by Sly and the Family Stone and Ohio Players. Then my uncle brought in a P-Funk record, and I was completely attached to it. It was being played in the house all the time. But I grew up in a white neighborhood, so all my friends were listening to AC/DC, Aerosmith and ZZ Top. I have that side, too. I naturally carried both of them with me constantly. Then I got involved in theater. I don’t know how they all seem to manifest in my body but they do. Sometimes, they sort of cross over into each other.”
Everett Bradley’s Holidelic comes to Philadelphia, 8 p.m. Dec. 21, at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St. For more information or tickets, call 215-222-1400 or visit www.holidelic.com.