18 Feb 2020
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Fat Freddy's Drop - Fat Freddy's Drop @ Western Springs, Auckland - 18/01/2020

24 Jan 2020 // A review by Ben Ruegg

If you haven't seen Fat Freddy's Drop before, like I had not, you need to get out and see them.

Walking around the crowd it was awesome to see so many parents bring their kids along to it. It was an extremely family-friendly environment and crowd. On entry, wrist bands were put on kids with their parent's phone number should they become lost. The whole vibe just felt chill and very kiwi and that all comes down to what Fat Freddy's Drop believes in.

With a sleuth of acts warming up the crowd, it really was Fat Freddy's Drop's night. The moment the band took the stage, the crowd roared and began dancing away to the upbeat sound that is so uniquely them.  The idea of not having a drummer, but instead having Chris Faiumu use an MPC and sampler to keep the beats isn't new, but it is the chemistry that exists between the whole group that makes them so important to music. Joe Lindsay's swag, dancing around is contagious. The way he was able to control that trombone with such finesse and precision, alongside Scott Towers and Toby Laing is inspiring.  

While watching and listening, I couldn't help but notice that the group becomes one unit that lives and breathe together. Known for their improvised jams, you could see how this all worked. Iain Gordon was to the left and raised a bit and yet space doesn't get in the way of this group. Blasting horns, killer beats, smooth vocals from Dallas mixed in with his wonderful guitar playing, it is almost like they shared one mind. This also plays out to the crowd who understand the chemistry that exists within FFD. The audience is dancing, vibing and singing along to this magic that is unfolding in front of us.

One omission from the night was Wandering Eye, and while the encore was only one song, they chose to play Roady, still a fan favourite and one that had us all singing and dancing along. By the end of the show, the audience had been treated to some incredibly precise jam sessions that were driven by the collective.  It was mesmerizing and totally something I need to see again. Even the size of the venue did not hinder this magic.  

Make sure you get out and see them at the next opportunity!

Setlist:

Blackbird
Silver and Gold
Kamo Kamo
Slings and Arrows
Special Edition
Raleigh Twenty
Flashback
Mother Mother
Cortina Motors
Shiverman

Encore: Roady


Fat Freddy's Drop photos courtesy of Bruce Mackay for Darker Arts, from Williams Park, Wellington on 20 January 2020.

 

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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