Review by Michaela Higgins with Photos by Helen Williams

Fat Freddy’s Drop assembled on stage complete with a brass section, DJ, MC and lead vocalist all the way from New Zealand. The first tracks were steeped in bluesy dark and bassy vibes, which penetrated the swaying crowd.

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The lead performer Joe Dukie was part of the brass trio – a man dressed all in white with a transparent overcoat, who half way through the set underwent an outfit change that would impress Lady Gaga, when he strutted on stage in a glittery white cape teamed with a white captain’s hat and shades. He had more hip movement than a Saturday night on Strictly and the energy of an Ibiza reveller throughout, and yet somehow it wasn’t a camp performance.

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Dukie stunned the crowd vocally with chilled soulful mellow notes; he had all the soul of Luther Vandross. The band are an eclectic mix that look like they possibly wouldn’t know each other if it weren’t for their shared interest, and yet thrown together they form a perfect cacophony of sound that’s impossible to stand still to.

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The crowd were alive from the first note right until the close of the set and gave the longest applause/cheers that I’ve ever witnessed to summon up an encore – the track Roady which was extremely energetic and began with a harmonica solo.

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Each track seemed to last a lifetime, but still captivated the audience who were transfixed by the performance. They played a mix of old and new material, the highlight of which was Blackbird, a stunning crowd pleaser. They held nothing back, performing the life out of every track and you could tell they felt the rhythm in their bones which translated into a performance that was nothing short of spectacular.

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