“Let's start from just over halfway through the third album by Fat Freddy's Drop. It's the point where it goes beautifully bonkers, and showcases the band as not only the kings of laid-back and lilting epics but brain-rattling beat and soul mantras.” This is an excerpt of a review of Blackbird in the New Zealand Herald which I think does a pretty good job in describing Fat Freddy’s Drop latest album.
A long-time fan, I am absolutely thrilled that I got to go to the launch on Wednesday, which was live streamed worldwide from the Village Underground in Shoreditch. It was everything I expected – a solid two hours of their new stuff plus a couple of classics thrown in there for good measure, like The Raft and Roady. My absolute favourites from the new album have to be Blackbird, Clean the House and Bones. The gig had a more mellow kind of vibe than I was used to; I've seen them in Bristol and at Bestival where they got their raw, energetic skank kicks going full throttle. This didn't detract from their perfomance because their beautifully intricate sounds are enough to capture the attention of even the most wandering, ADHD-stricken minds. Their sound is more captivating and more self-assured than ever, but still keeping that vintage Fat Freddy’s style.
I love seeing them live, not only because they’re musically tight every time, without fail, but also because they’re actually entertaining to watch. Going to gigs these days can sometimes be SO boring, unless you’re going to see a huge act where it’s half about the music and half about the multi-million pound show. But with Fat Freddy’s you get vocalist Joe Dukie who is an absolute legend and gets so transfixed and into the music he often looks like a he’s on the best, more soulful trip of his life; then there’s Tony Chang on the trumpet, always looking slick, and next to him is Joe Lindsay aka Hopepa on the trombone dancing like a maniac, sweating his balls off in a shiny tracksuit jacket.
If you missed the launch but want to see them, they’ll be back in October at the Brixton Academy. I’m there.