Funkadelia is a cool club for funk, blues and jazz in Arrancapins that supplies Valencia with an injection of beats and booze. Daniel Hazelhoff reports…
Friday night at Funkadelia, and the atmosphere is thick with excited audiophiles chattering. Pints are flying around like hot cakes, and there’s not a single gloomy face in the crowd. Just a gathering of like-minded individuals ready to get their funk on. They’re buzzing and waiting with excited anticipation for tonight’s band. Funkadelia derived its name from George Clinton’s spin-off band after Parliament, called Funkadelic. Clinton was a master of truly iconic sounds within the world of funk. Those basslines are evident at Funkadelia and beat throughout its very essence. Owners Concepción ‘Conchi’ Rodriguez Vaquero and Wayne Butfoy run the club.
Story of the blues
Conchi has been a teacher and a talented artist throughout her adult life. While Wayne has been, by turns, a professional football player, a coach, and a personal trainer. They both share a deep appreciation for music, and their labour of love is Funkadelia. The DJ booth is home to a vast collection of records, carefully selected over the years by co-owner Wayne. And the walls are draped with Conchi’s art.
We spoke to both owners and delved into their history, what brought them to Valencia and how Funkadelia was born. It’s fair to say that on first impressions, they appear to be chalk and cheese. But it soon becomes apparent that their love for funk and jazz unite this duo in the best way possible. The way they spoke so passionately about their interests is directly reflected in an electric and unifying atmosphere. An atmosphere that is the hallmark of Funkadelia.
“When you don’t have words to explain a feeling or concept, you have jazz,” says Conchi, emphatically. We talked about the language of music, and how essential it is in bringing together people. And especially so during these hard times of pandemia-enforced restrictions.
“Football and funk have always been my passion,” says Wayne. He spoke of his life as a professional footballer and coach, and how difficult it had been to maintain both passions. Jis love for nightlife and music, combined with the rigorous training of professional sportspeople.
“We used to live in London, and decided we wanted to come back to Spain,” says Conchi.
Across the world to Valencia
The pair had moved all over the world, from Murcia to London, across the world to Shanghai, and finally, to Valencia, where they share their love of music with the community – mainly, it appears tonight, incomers and English-speakers.
They found this spot by chance, says Conchi, and knew it would be perfect. “We play what we like – funk, blues, jazz and those genres,” she says. “We found there was a wider community who shared our tastes.” Their mission to showcase funk in Valencia had started.
It’s a happy, energetic vibe tonight. But behind the thumping basslines and happy faces lies the dark shadow of the pandemic. They had to shut down for a few months, like other businesses within the hospitality sector.
“I’m just thankful we didn’t have employees, it was just my husband and me. Otherwise, I’m not sure we’d still be here today,” says Conchi.
Even though the storm of the pandemic impacted on Funkadelia, the flame of their music was most certainly not smothered. Most Fridays and Saturdays they host live events and supply a range of drinks, and speciality cocktails such as La Señorita, The Funkalicious and James Brown’s Widow. Speciality shots include La Mamada, The Boogie Down, and The MJ.
Valencia’s lack of venues such as Funkadelia means the club is like a flame to a moth for those seeking a joyous night out. A night out listening to the blues, jazz, funk – or any of their derivatives. At last, we have a refuge away from the confined spaces of our homes.
Thank funk for that.
- Funkadelia, Calle Marqués de Cenente 5, 46007 València, Valencia; Thursday to Saturday 10:00pm-3:30am +34 625 35 84 01