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FAT FREDDY’S DROP @ Freo Arts Centre gets 9.5/10


Fat Freddy’s Drop @ Fremantle Arts Centre

w/ Ladi6
Saturday, April 6, 2019

9.5/10

A balmy Saturday night at the Fremantle Arts Centre saw Fat Freddy’s Drop hit the stage on the last stop of their recent tour. A sold out gig, devoted fans were there as soon as doors opened, ready for the dub/jazz/reggae jams the band have crafted over a 20 year career.

Ladi6

Warming up the crowd was Ladi6, a kiwi icon in her own right, who opened with her hit Diamonds, flanked by the ‘6ers’, her fabulous dancers. As always, she looked incredibly stylish, surveying us all from behind her heart-shaped glasses. Her delivery and her set were both flawless, accompanied by Parks, her DJ. Fans of R&B and neo-soul should pay attention, it makes no sense she’s not incredibly famous here!

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Spirits were high, the atmosphere was friendly, and the clock had struck 7:30pm as Fat Freddy’s Drop arrived to huge applause. Known for improvising their live performances, we were in for nearly two and a half hours of solid dancing, kicked off by Russia from the Blackbird album.

Given that each song goes for roughly 10 minutes, a two and a half hour set actually includes fewer songs, and fewer hits, than first time FFD concert goers would have expected. But by now, with such a devoted fan base, it seems most people know what a FFD show is about. It’s never going to be a best of; it’s just going to be fun times. (Speaking of devoted fans, there were people who had driven half way across the state for the night!) So, it was about half an hour and three songs in when the first bars of Ernie rang out and the crowd erupted. Their hugely successful 2005 album Roady, and this track from it, is clearly still a firm favourite among many.

Fat Freddy’s Drop

Hit wise, they also played Blackbird, one of the biggest tracks from the album of the same name. However the majority of the gig was improvisations and different arrangements of songs that created long, hypnotic grooves. Notably their brand new song Special Edition was received well, hinting at the sound of the next album.

Joe Dukie’s voice is inimitable. Smooth like butter, it makes listeners melt. It’s also the thing that makes Fat Freddy’s Drop stand apart from other groups. Not to mention the horn section’s Joe Lindsay who is getting a reputation for his flamboyant outfits and stage antics. He certainly didn’t disappoint on this night!

Fat Freddy’s Drop

By half time Lindsay had stripped down to his sequined jocks and the crowd was in full flight. Every single person appeared to be having the very best time possible and was dancing madly. Finishing with an extended version of Shiverman, everyone was satiated.

Despite the time on the clock, the night really did pass quickly. So as they left the stage the crowd genuinely wanted an encore. And not only did the band comply, they played Roady. Ladi6 joined them on stage for the female vocals, which morphed briefly into her rapping over Roots Manuva’s Mind 2 Motion . It was the best possible way to end an incredibly fun night.

SHANNON FOX

Photos by Adrian Thomson

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