Saturday, May 29, 2010

"The Freddies"

Fat Freddy's Drop is a NZ band with its roots in South Pacific reggae which is evolving its style into its own jazz and techno. We had promised ourselves a night out if ever they had left the comforts of the Wellington hovels of Manners St and Cuba Street Mall.

As soon as the ads appeared for a national tour we booked. Stalls only available on the 'net so we were more or less compulsorily consigned to spending the night in the moshpit. Not that I would have minded in the least but I would not be up and about at 7 this morning if we had.

We were standing around in the foyer to the Bruce Mason Theatre waiting for the doors to open at 7:45 when these three young ladies sidled up and asked if we were going to the Freddies and if we were, did we have stalls tickets. We ended up exchanging our two stalls tickets for two circle seats (which they had won in a radio promo competition); ahhh bliss!

The Freddies played a total of eleven pieces, from their first album recorded at the Matterhorn to their latest and as yet unreleased cd. For that they were on stage for about 2 1/2 hours. "Cays Crays", "Shiverman" and the new "Blackbird" were perhaps the highlights. There was a brief lesson in Techno assembly that kicked off "Shiverman" - brilliant piece of work by Joe Dukie at the microphone. Man of the night for me was the scientist behind the electronics board. Brilliant mixes, brilliant clipping... made the music.

Energy, humour, and bloody good music abounded. The last piece before the interval I was wondering just how much more the trombone player was going to shed. After starting in a light (linen?) suit he was down to longjohns and singlet (leaving little to the imagination on the way). He returned after the interval fully clothed but a good part of that was lost before full time.

The very best I can do is to return Tamaira's "chur fullas" with real feeling.

ps I meant to add - how many popular music groups would use a Double EFlat Bass (or Concert tuba) in their lineup?

:)

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