Gig Review: FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton 21 January 2014

The Fun Lovin' Criminals

The Fun Lovin’ Criminals shot to fame after the release of the single ‘Scooby Snacks’ from their 1996 album ‘Come Find Yourself’. This success established the band’s truly unique sound mixing hip hop and alternative rock along with a deep mix of funk, blues and jazz fusion, which I would describe as cool ‘after hours’ music.

In 2001 they released ‘Loco’, the title track and single, which was performed by the band on a Budweiser advert. The charismatic vocalist, Huey Morgan, has gained much celebrity since with many television appearances and also his own radio shows.

The band went quiet after the release of ‘Living In The City’ in 2005. Until a return to the live circuit in in 2009 and in 2010 they released the album ‘Classic Fantastic’. Then in 2011 releasing their first ever live album, Fun, Live And Criminal. Now they are back on the road with a 6 date tour cleverly titled ‘The Bong Remains The Same’.

Unfortunately I did not catch the support band, due to travel. But, from what I could gauge from the crowd’s response this Midlands outfit went down well and warmed up a now filled hall.

The Fun Lovin' Criminals

Then as the lights went down, Fun Lovin’ Criminals burst out onto the stage, suited up and ready to go. They began by rapping to a sample of ‘Bear Hug’, along with plenty of showmanship and pizazz, before donning instruments and breaking into ‘King of New York’. The band then smoothly progressing through Passive/Aggressive’, ‘All For Self’ and the mellow melodies of ‘Back On The Block’.

A perfect rendition of the percussive intro to ‘Loco’ follows, performed with excellence and precision, one of the night’s highlights. The calming ‘Up On The Hill’ was up next before they upped the pace with ‘Swashbucklin’ In Brooklyn’, ‘Scooby Snacks’ and ‘Where The Bums Go’. The set then continued with ‘10th Street’, ‘I Can’t Get With That’ and ‘Come Find Yourself’.

The Fun Lovin' Criminals

The band continued to wow the crowd with the thrashing ‘Southside’, ‘Will I Be Ready’, ‘Smoke’ and ‘Big Night Out’. The set was rounded off with an encore of ‘Live, Have, Love’, ‘Love Unlimited’ and their very own anthem ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminals’.

This was a very slick and cool gig that proved to be great value for money – by a band who proved they have still got what it takes.

Review and Photos by Jeff Oram

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Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)

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