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Fat Freddy's Drop - Colston Hall, Bristol - October 2 2013 (Live Review)

Thursday, 10 October 2013 Written by Charlie Hurt

There was a buzz in the air, a real sense of good time ahead. Bristol's Colston Hall was sold out for the evening in anticipation of the arrival of Fat Freddy’s Drop.

Warm up act Ady Suleiman, and bandmate Ed Black, grabbed some attention with soulful lyrics, bouncy rhythms and tender harmonies. The two young men put together an impressively full sound and their final track, State Of Mind, drew in anyone not paying attention.

Fat Freddy's Drop were back on a Bristol stage for the first time in over a year and entered to rapturous applause. The New Zealanders were on the second leg of a European tour promoting their new album, 'Blackbird', and it’s the album’s title track that got us underway.

The first of many brooding basslines began before Joe Dukey's familiar, soul-drenched vocals rolled in. By the second half of the song many were restlessly rejecting the comfort of their seats and when Pull The Catch kicked in, the majority of the seating section was up and dancing, as security began to look worried.

The crowd would have been happy to hear the new album in its entirety, as the grooves of new tunes Soldier and Clean The House offered smooth tones and funky psychedelia. The classics kept coming though, and Roady raised the remaining bums from seats.

The band’s live show offers so much, with the brass section building the sound at every opportunity and supplying endless uplifting hooks. DJ  Fitchie controlled the level, sending the crowd into a trance before dropping them into a frenzy. Dobie Blaze's keyboard and synth work was seamless and Jetlag Johnson's guitar was as good on the funk beat as it was on the off beat. MC Slave added the hip hop and geed up the already wild crowd as the encore began. Horn player Hopepa was by then out of his suit and in a sweat-soaked vest, high fiving the front row.

The Colston Hall was conquered and the final song, Ernie, left the crowd elated, legs heavy from dancing. If Fat Freddy’s Drop are to return to these shores any time soon, they may have to think about booking a few more dates.



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