Blowfly - Live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Live in Philadelphia (2014)

live show

Blowfly was greeted by a overly packed house on August 9, 2014 at Philadelphia's Gunner's Run. Although the venue is in Philadelphia's rising nightlife district, surrounded by nightclubs and hip cafés, for the night it transformed into a combination punker/soul bar room, packed to the gills with punk rockers, blues fans, and young go—getters caught unaware in the crossfire.

The show began with Blowfly's musical director, manager, and drummer, Uncle Tom announcing Blowfly's arrival. The band kicked into a hard driving funk number as the "original dirty rapper" himself, Blowfly took the stage, clad in his sequined covered superhero suit (cape intact) and mask. Immediately, the septuagenarian started his trademark routine, spitting out the filthiest lyrics you could imagine. Some tunes were originals, like Blowfly's alphabets where he categorizes all the types of sexual encounters, and some were parodies, like his classic(ly revolting) "Spermy night in Georgia."

Blowfly himself, who is as famous for his contribution to soul music as his alter—ego Clarence Reid as he is for his mood swings, seemed to be jazzed throughout the 90 minute performance. He seemed energized as the crowd shouted back the refrains to his songs and as the place became a hard—swinging dance hall with his classic "Rapp Dirty" (which Blowfly claims is the first rap song ever— he might be right.) Pretty much every girl in the venue caught the eye of Blowfly as he would work the young ladies names into his song and proposition them mid set.

Equally interesting was the history explained throughout the set. Uncle Tom stated the Blowfly is the most sampled composer in history. Looking at his vast catalogue of credits for groups including KC and the Sunshine band and betty Wright supplements that argument. Further, at times, despite Blowfly's commentary, he did slip in social commentary. "Blowfly's Rap," despite its tongue in cheek overtones, did comment on race relations. The mere fact that no artist was sacred— from Cameo to Michael Jackson, to the Clash, also shows that no matter how famous a person is, he's just a person.

The show ended with Blowfly and crowd in high spirits as the backing band ripped out a hard driving instrumental worthy of Funakdelic. On his way off the stage, Blowfly stopped in front of an absolutely gorgeous blonde, had a twinkle appear in his eye, and snatched the young lady away from the three or so strapping young men who were obviously competing for her attention. Despite that he could be the girls grandfather, the pair treated themselves to a quick dance as if they Fred and Ginger. Blowfly might be filthy, but he has finesse, too.

—Uncle Tom mentioned that Blowfly is currently trying to save his house from taxes that were screwed up by the Tax Assosor. You can help Blowfly out by going to his show and buying some merch (he has an awesome Celtic Frost parody shirt and an exclusive live CD) or you can help out here.