Let's go back a year.... July 2005, London. Following the B-Live festival that was held at Clapham Common, a large group of Jamiroquai fans hung around together following the concert and went to a local bar for a few drinks, to talk about the concert that was and to meet new people and say hello to old "Jamiro-friends". It was a great day and evening and I was looking forward to doing it again after the Lovebox Festival in July 2006.
So, the Lovebox Festival came. I hadn't planned much for the day apart from head down to the Festival early afternoon, watch Norman Jay in the Bacardi tent, take it easy then go enjoy Jamiroquai with a few close friends. There was no plan (well, none that I knew of) for after the gig at this point.
On arrival Sharon and I went via the front row of the main stage to say hello to a few friends, and then met with quite a few people who I'd emailed previously but never met in person...good to meet you all.
So, the concert came and went - Jamiroquai were on top form, performing some unexpected tracks such If I Like It I Do It and Stillness In Time. The gig completely rocked (just ask anyone who was there) and the English weather was perfect.
As the concert ended and people started leaving, a number of fans hung around near the barriers by the stage to say hello and catch up, now that the pressure to keep your place at the concert had gone. It was great to see people and say hello.
No plans for after the gig had been decided upon, so I guessed we'd head to a local pub/bar for a couple of drinks before finding our way home from the depths of East London. This was not to be the case....
Deesha, (who'd flown over from Philadelphia just for the gig) said she had a plan and Sharon and I had to just go with what she said, and most importantly trust her! Sharon knew that something was planned, something along the lines of going for a meal somewhere. I just kept quiet and awaited further instructions!
So, a short while later Meike, Stephan, Deesha, Sharon, Zed and myself found ourselves on the London Underground train heading towards Liverpool Street Railway Station (where Zed had to leave us). At this point I'd realised that I'd forgotten to, or did not really get a chance to, say goodbye to a few friends but Sharon told me not to worry as I might see them later, which was the first she had mentioned to me about knowing of any plans. Anyway, I was under orders to do what Deesha and the others said so I just went along with it. After a wait and a quick bite to eat and drink at a fast food place, we all jumped into a London taxi and headed off on the next part of our mystery tour!! Meike was busy sending SMS messages throughout the journey and I still had no idea what was going on.
A few minutes later we pulled up in Islington (an area slightly North of the centre of London) and started walking along. We then arrived at a bar and Sharon and I were sent in before the rest of the crowd. Well, what happened next took us completely by surprise. It was a funkin party!!!!
It turned out that since back in April people had been making top secret plans to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Jamiroquai - The Funkin Site by having a party after the concert - and we knew nothing, absolutely nothing about it!
I was completely shocked by what was before me - a bar with lots of people there, funkin.com birthday banners on the walls, balloons and Jamiroquai tunes playing on the sound system. Oh, and the bar had lots of ice cold beer!
The place was full of the people I'd met at the concert earlier in the day, and all my fears of not going for a drink or saying goodbye to people after concert were put to rest, as they were all here - at the party!
Home-made (and really cool) funkin.com t-shirts were worn by Anna and Rachael and it was amazing to see the effort that had been put into the night - both by the people who were there and the ones who couldn't make it but helped organise it.
After a while Sharon and I were called to the front by the lovely Deesha who wanted to make an announcement..... After saying a few words about what she and many others felt about funkin.com, Sharon and I were presented with a gift - a hardback funkin.com celebration book!
Many of the people who had been organising this night (via a secret forum at jamirotalk.net) for the past few months were asked to submit pictures/drawings/photos in fact anything that they wanted that would then be printed out and form one of the pages of this celebration book. It was awesome and almost brought me to tears. There were pages and pages of lovely words, drawings and photos from people and places from all over the world, including Australia, Poland, Italy and America (there was even a page from Derrick McKenzie). The book rocks, and together with the lovely banners (one of which was signed by people at the party) I'll never forget that night.
Thanks to Rachael, here is the book as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file (size 11.7mb).
I said a few words of thanks - I still don't understand why so many people have become attached to the site, but nevertheless I am completely flattered by it all.
We kept talking, drinking and dancing till the early hours of the morning before we all had to head out separate ways, not before we all sung and danced to "We Are Jamily"! What a night.
Apologies if I miss any names from this list but Sharon and I would love to extend our thanks to the following people (if I have missed anyone from the list, please let me know) who we know helped organise this great night, so in alphabetical order...
Anna, Deesha, Francesca, Heather, Janice, Jeroen, Meike, Nina, Rachael, Sandra, Smita and Stephan.
Of course in addition to the above list of people errm, ring-leaders ;), I have to thank everyone who contributed to the book, who attended the party and who has contributed news to the funkin site over the past 10 years - its unbelievable.
Lastly, but certainly not least, here are a number of photos from the party taken by different people. Apologies if you were at the party and you're not in any of the photos - I don't mean that to be the case.
Thank you for getting to the bottom of the page. Well, that's all for another ten years!