Queen P & The Shifters November Tour Review

Queen P

Photo by BlondeShells

Last November King Duncan from the DC band The Shifters wanted to do something really special for his birthday. So he got the idea to fly Queen P from LA so he could see her perform. Naturally his band would back her up and he would get a chance to sing with one of his idols at the same times. Well that turned into a few more dates and a mini-tour ensued.

As a preview of the dates that were scheduled and even more background from Duncan himself he wrote this piece about his admiration for Ocean 11 and Queen P and the inspiration they gave him at age 17 to pursue music. It’s a great read with a true heartfelt love for the music. Check it out!

Here is an excerpt from the piece:
“17 years ago, I was turning 17.” by King Duncan

That was the thought that ran through my head this morning when I woke up at 5 AM. I don’t have a lot of time these days to ponder life, mortality, love found and lost… Y’know, the real meaningful shit portrayed by people my age in romantic comedies. Yeah. That’s not me. I’m kind of busy. I’m a “working professional” who moved to DC from San Diego to further my career, like many imports to this area. To torture myself further, I’ve also joined a few bands along the way and helped start a monthly Ska and Reggae venue because, obviously, I was getting way too much sleep. My life is hectic. So somewhere between a morning shower and walking into work, I get a few seconds to think, reflect, and focus.

Lately, that quality morning-think time has been dedicated to concentrating on this upcoming weekend (and inevitably about my upcoming birthday on Sunday). In case anyone reading this doesn’t know, The Shifters, my semi-upstart, semi-Rocksteady band, are embarking on a mini-tour up the East Coast with Persephone, AKA Queen P, from Ocean 11. Persephone was kind enough to agree to come out here for my birthday and perform one show at my club, BlueBeat DC. The idea eventually evolved and we ended up agreeing to extend the good times through Veterans Day, with stops in Baltimore and New York City.

Amongst friends, band-mates and fans (we have those?), some have asked me just what is the big deal about Ocean 11 and Queen P? Indeed, even this website linked to an article attempting to answer that very question. In an effort to lend clarity to this mystery bestowed on my East Coast brethren, I volunteered to write a piece promoting the shows and shedding some light on why we So Cal folk of a certain age have such a fondness for Ocean 11.

You can read the full post here in all it’s gushing glory.

Duff Guide did a review of the gigs last November that included really good background about Ocean 11, what they meant to the East Coast even though they never got to go there, some Moon Ska history and plenty more goodies.

Here is what he had to say about the show:

Queen P’s phenomenal set was mostly comprised of material off The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (not unexpected, of course) and included The Clarendonians’ “Rules of Life,” The Tartan’s “Solid as a Rock,” Cornel Campbell’s “Let’s Start Again,” Ocean 11’s “I am Queen”–and the highlights for me were Marcia Griffiths’ “I Shall Sing,” and Phyllis Dillon’s “Picture on the Wall” and “I Can’t Forget About You Baby.”

Queen P’s voice has such an amazing purity, warmth, clarity, and directness to it (sadly, sometimes hard to hear through the terrible PA system that night) and she exudes such a cool confidence and ease as she sings. She’s a wonderfully gifted performer to watch in action. I hope she’ll make the trip out East again to play with The Shifters soon–and if you’re anywhere near where they play, you make make sure to catch ’em!

Here is a video he took for “Solid As A Rock” with a great intro from Duncan further proclaiming his love for all things Queen P.

Read the full review and check out all the videos he took at his site here.

The Shifters uploaded some great videos also from the gigs so click the link for those.

I've been involved in the Los Angeles music scene since at least 1995 going to shows, promoting, spinning records and running labels. Ska and Early Reggae are my passion among other things of course.