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  • Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson - 09/01/2019
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Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Neudorf Vineyard, Nelson - 09/01/2019

10 Jan 2019 // A review by Jacquie Walters

If any band epitomises the joy of a summer evening it has to be Fat Freddy's Drop. Neudorf Vineyard near Nelson provided the perfect natural setting for the luscious, relaxed sounds of this seven-member musical institution. 

The tone was set by tour DJ Norman Jay MBE who has joined the group for its summer gigs all the way from London. He encouraged the crowd to get up and dance and reminded them of Fat Freddy's Drop's popularity in the UK and Europe. The band couldn't wish for a better warm up act or a more generous supporter of both them and their music. 

The multi-generational crowd came prepared to have a good time and was not disappointed. From the lush, ambient intro of the band's title track from their hit album Blackbird, Fat Freddy's Drop were on top form. Dallas Tamaira's vocals were smooth and seamless. Wairunga Blues led into the beautiful Flashback from the band's breakthrough debut studio album Based on a True Story. Flashback truly is a glorious song and had the crowd clapping along.

Slings and Arrows came next and was followed by new material, warmly embraced by the audience. Tamaira remarked that the crowd was singing along like they knew it already, not surprising really given how familiar and organic the band's music feels. 

Fat Freddy's Drop is a high-quality band at the top of its game. Each element was musically strong, although the brass section really is the stand out aspect of the group for me. Certainly, in terms of stagemanship the evening belonged to trombone player Joe Lindsay. Dressed entirely in figure-hugging white with glittering silver embellishments and a long flowing cape he sashayed across the stage to loud crowd approval. His total body commitment to performance is a real joy to behold.

Russia featuring MC Slave got the crowd jumping before Trickle Down brought a different lyrical edge to the proceedings. Cortina Motors had the audience responding with almost everyone up on their feet and dancing. Then it was back to Joe Lindsay for his crowd-pleasing harmonica solo, delivered in amongst the audience itself. Shiverman brought the house down to close the concert - featuring Joe Lindsay on tuba and a scorching saxophone solo from Scott Towers. 

Then, just when we were resigned to the fact that it might be all over, the band were back to deliver a terrific version of Roady as an encore. As the lyrics of the song say, "do it for the love of music". It certainly felt like Fat Freddy's Drop were doing just that from beginning to end, and the capacity crowd were with them every step of the way.

 

About Fat Freddy's Drop

Internationally regarded as one of the world’s finest live draws, seven piece band Fat Freddy’s Drop released their fourth studio album Bays in 2015. Over the last three LPs the New Zealanders have navigated their way from the incubator of sunshine reggae through a colour-saturated field of soul psychedelia before swerving onto a desolate Detroit superhighway at night. It’s a sound that demands to be heard live, a potent mixture of jazz virtuosity and diaphragm-wrecking digital sonics.

These influences have not only been formed by the band’s individual predilections, but also experiences on the road: Fat Freddy’s appearance at Detroit’s Movement festival in 2006 was a watershed moment for the band, fuelled by hearing May’s, Atkin’s and Craig’s stark futurism ricochet off the cold concrete of America’s broken dream. This stoked producer DJ Mu’s love of analog techno, balancing and fusing vocalist Dallas Tamaira’s adoration of soul and reggae with the band’s collective passion for Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Disco, House, Post Punk and Balearic oddities.

For FFD this osmosis begins at the start of a composition. Groove after groove, horn line after horn line is laid down by the entire band in their Wellington-based studio Bays and then edited by trumpeter Toby Laing, DJ Mu and Dallas Tamaira. It’s out of these epic live recordings that they sieve the gold that lies within.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Fat Freddy's Drop

Releases

Bays
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Blackbird
Year: 2013
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Silver and Gold 12"
Year: 2012
Type: Album
Fat Electric Drop
Year: 2012
Type: EP
Live At Roundhouse
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Dr Boondigga And The Big BW
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
The Camel EP
Year: 2008
Type: EP
Fantastic Voyages Vol. 1
Year: 2006
Type: DVD
Based On A True Story
Year: 2005
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Live At The Matterhorn
Year: 2001
Type: EP
Buy Online @ Mightyape

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