22 Sep 2020
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  • Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Thames Racecourse, Thames - 28/12/2019

Fat Freddy's Drop - Gig Review: Fat Freddy's Drop @ Thames Racecourse, Thames - 28/12/2019

08 Jan 2020 // A review by Lou Clement
When Fat Freddy’s Drop announced their Summer Album tour, with dates across New Zealand, I had the feeling of the holiday season beginning. I went along to the first of the tour dates that began their extensive list of stop offs and took place in the lazy in between days of the Christmas-New Year break. The venue was Thames Racecourse and the supporting line up made for a pocket-sized festival vibe, one, luckily, without the need for camping.


Wellingtonians Fat Freddy’s Drop were draw enough to bring in a diverse crowd and no doubt the supporting line up was additional lure to attend for the diverse crowd who flocked to the seaside town on a balmy summer’s day. There was a feeling of the event high jacking the town and turning its valleys, forests and hills into an eco-speaker system for a night of urban, funk and soul (...the genre’s go on) music as the sound echoed across the landscape.

The event began late afternoon with the following line up: Tunes of I, JessB and DJ Jazzy Jeff, prior to the headliners. The atmosphere was relaxed, I kicked off my shoes under the cloudless sky to dance and barely sat down the whole evening. Standout performances were JessB who as well as performing her hits including Set It Off, covered Toast by Koffee, it was joyful music. DJ Jazzy Jeff barely looked up from the decks as he entertained crowds with a set designed to please. Billed as music for people who love music, every sample mixed in was stitched together to get the audience involved: singing, dancing and no doubt a moment or two of nostalgia. The hits spanned the last four decades, or perhaps even a decade or two more than that. It’s making me feel old to think about. Consider the crowd warmed up at this point, as dusk settled over the day Fat Freddy’s Drop emerged to whoops and cheers.

The band’s performance was so confident; they constantly held the gaze of the audience. There was hardly a flinch in this confidence as they debuted new tracks from their recently released album, Special Edition Part 1. I particularly loved hearing Silver and Gold, with its soulful feel and Mother, Mother.

I went along to this gig with my sister, who was visiting from abroad. She’d already read about the band in her guidebook. I felt like seeing Fat Freddy’s Drop was an essential part of the New Zealand experience and the event – audience and the full line up made for an amazing and memorable highlight.

Fat Freddy’s Drop Summer tour continues in New Zealand throughout January and February, including upcoming dates in Auckland and Christchurch.

Photos also thanks to Lou Clement.

 

About Fat Freddy's Drop

Fat Freddy’s Drop is internationally regarded as one of the world’s finest live draws. The seven piece band has 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 Bays studio album released in 2015, the 9-track LP was exclusively written and recorded at their studio in Kilbirnie, Wellington. Pre-Bays, Freddy's albums were formed almost entirely on the road; the songs slowly evolving live at festivals such as WOMAD UK, SONAR, Bestival, Lowlands, DEMF, Pukkelpop, Glastonbury, The Big Chill and Roskilde.

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

Releases

Special Edition Part 1
Year: 2019
Type: EP
Buy Online @ Mightyape
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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