Gig review by Zak Edwards with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Minus the element for the less than legal shenanigans, there aren’t many more fitting and descriptive band names than that of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals. It’s been nigh on 20 years since I first witnessed Huey and the boys in all of their resplendent glory and now they were back in Brummyland, to treat the congregation to a complete play through of their inaugural album ‘Come Find Yourself’; a record that spent over 12 months in the charts and one that sold over 10 million copies. Boom!

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Cantaloop provided support disappointingly playing too a half full auditorium. Not that it mattered a jot as they treated the crowd to jazz infused funk battle pitching the wits of the left side versus the right. These guys, like the main act sure knew how to party and the ‘dirty’ vibe was raised a notch with the additional bass guitar – the vibrant lead singer choosing it as his weapon of choice to get his funk on, alongside the traditional bassist.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Not unsurprisingly FLC made their way on to the stage to the backdrop of the Star Wars theme tune. Or was it Superman enquired half the audience? Either way, both perfectly apt.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Kicking off proceedings with – what else – ‘The Fun Lovin’ Criminal’ – it was like they’d never been away. For a three piece they instantly made a gargantuan wall of noise, but not one of those ones which have your lug holes crying into their soup. Sass, style, groove – it was immediately there in plain site for all to see. All exceedingly comfortable on stage, all dapper and all having a ball from the off.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Musically, as well as lyrically they were superb from the off, combining rap, with splendid jazz soul and funk, supplying the wanton crowd to fantastic melodies and above all else, a show – which all too often is forgotten nowadays. All delivered with a NYC attitude.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Prior to the tour Huey Morgan commented “Our debut album burned a path for crossing genres that we now take for granted. The music is now part of our collective lexicon and we are very proud to be able to play it live and share our love of diversity which we have always, as a band, championed” a paving of the way to which the likes of Kanye and Pharrell have surely benefit.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

Not only only are the band entertaining; and it has to be said excellent, from a musical perspective, but they are also highly amusing, bantering with one another, sharing anecdotes and interacting with the appreciative audience. “After coming out of the Marine Corp” commented the singer, “I was working in a hotel doing dishes which inspired me to write the next song” as the band eased into the chilled back resplendent groovefest which is ‘I can’t get with that’ to the obvious appreciation of the baying crowd. “Now 20 years later, same old shit is going on” joked the front man.

Fun Lovin' Criminals

With tequila being hand delivered to the stage and after a 10 minute interval (yep – 10 minutes, fuck it they are the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and they can do what they want) they ambled back on stage to the back drop of what else, the A Team theme tune, Perfect and then delivered another 7 songs including the excellent ‘Korean Bodega’ and title track to their 3rd album ‘Loco’, a song who’s video production culminated in the “greatest day of their lives” According to the singer.

Then that was that. A great night had by all, including the band and fingers firmly crossed that it wouldn’t be another 20 years till they found their way back to Brum!

Fun Lovin' Criminals

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