Blues Brothers tribute at Yellow Submarine Jerusalem.

Funknstein 311 (photo credit: Tom Raviv)
Funknstein 311
(photo credit: Tom Raviv)
Life getting you down? Problems at home? Been fired from the job you loved for no good reason? Well here’s a recipe to get out of your funk and get funky: Take a large dollop of Funk’n’Stein, mix in a healthy dose of Blues Brothers tribute and hey presto, you’ll feel the smile return to your face and the troubles float away.
Funk’n’Stein’s biggest asset is frontman Elran Dekel, an infusive character with a massive afro and star quality that can get a crowd going within a few minutes.
The Yellow Submarine was far from packed on this particular Thursday night, but Dekel’s enthusiastic dancing and singing, combined with the eminently danceable beats and horns of the band, soon had the audience grooving along with the tunes. I was transported back to the summer of 1995 at the Phoenix Festival in Stratford, England, where I had the privilege to witness a performance by George Clinton and the P-Funk-All Stars.
Funk’n’Stein creates a contagious atmosphere that electrifies the audience, so when Dekel began calling out to the crowd they responded gratefully. “What’s the name of this town?” Dekel shouted. “Jeruuusalem,” they screamed back.
But this wasn’t simply a regular concert. After just under an hour of songs, including “The Answer” and “Funk Me,” Funk’n’Stein finished the first half of the show and disappeared backstage to transform themselves for part two. A few minutes later they returned, all of them wearing dark sunglasses, and started playing the famous “Peter Gunn Theme” from The Blues Brothers.
If the party hadn’t already started it sure did with the introduction of Gori Alfi in the John Belushi role, dressed up just like the character of Jake Blues, in a dark suit, sunglasses and hat.
He was followed by Dekel, who played the part of Elwood Blues, made famous by Dan Aykroyd in the 1980 movie. But instead of wearing a regular hat, Dekel had a specially made version which had an open top to allow his large afro to poke through.
The pair put on a superb show, going through all the big hits from The Blues Brothers, from “She Caught the Katy” to “Minnie The Moocher,” and, of course, finishing with an encore of “Everybody Needs Somebody.”
The chemistry between Dekel and Alfi was one of the things that made the show so much fun – it was clear they were enjoying themselves as much as the audience.
At one point, during an instrumental break, the two began throwing a frisbee to each other onstage before Alfi jumped into the audience to allow Dekel to throw it even further.
Throughout the show the funky bass never stopped and the crowd didn’t stop dancing. In an age of new-wave pop music these were just the sort of old-school fresh beats the doctor ordered.
Funk’n’Stein hit the spot.