From: Jon Freer (jon-freer_at_excite.com)
Date: 2004-05-18 18:57:35
Fat Freddy’s Drop live at Phonetics, Po Na Na/Element, Sheffield, UK. 8th May 2004.
Fat Freddy’s Drop is not a portly gentleman, but nifty 7-piece outfit, hailing from Wellington in New Zealand. Despite only having three vinyl outings to date, released on the wonderful Sonar Kollektiv imprint, the group has received an abundance of critical acclaim and is set for future success. Their organic musical concoction blends the paradoxically weighty yet flexible reggae influences alongside sugary soul-kissed vocals and reassuring funked-out moments. A relaxed attitude may put the tempo of the music on the verge of stopping moving altogether, but the intensity of the sound they create gives them the power to keep going.
Bringing such a group to Phonetics on a Saturday night was quite a risk and all credit to Phonetics for taking it. Those on the smoke-coated and densely packed dancefloor were entranced by the performance. Heads nodded and bodies swayed collectively to a lengthy live session from Fat Freddy’s Drop. The group performed previously released tracks and a few forthcoming outings, stretching the tunes out for all they were worth. Due to the extended length of the versions that they played, the cuts were able to slowly seep into the minds of the listeners, so the music could be felt as well as heard. The group play so well together that the wonderful brass harmonising, sweet keys, fuzzy guitars and honest vocals sounded like the music of one, not seven parts all vying for attention. The undoubted highlight was a rendition of “Midnight Marauders”, originally released by the group under the guise of Joe Dukie and Fitchie. Clocking in at nearly fifteen minutes long, the combin!
ation of melancholic brass, reverberating guitars and vocals celebrating nocturnal excursions was astounding.
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