FUN LOVIN CRIMINALS/ DOPAMINE JACKSON- Junction, Cambridge
You just walked straight into me; f*ck you! says the drunken
man to a woman half his size who accidentally just spilt a drop of
a pint that he clearly didnt need another sip of. Yes, its
a weird crowd this evening. It seems that the children of the 90s,
the ones who would remember FLC, havent aged well and they cant
handle their beer. A man the spitting image of Bez, complete with
fisherman hat, pumps his fist in the air. Oh. Dear.
And what the hell is Cambridge guitar legend, Booga, doing treading
the boards with Dopamine Jackson? Even he looks mildly embarrassed.
Its OK. Im not entirely sure anyone recognises him. A
rather generic funk/pub band whose lyrics are sprinkled with the odd
muthaf*cker, in a very middle class accent for extra effect,
they write a good pop tune but I dont remember a single note.
Sorry. All power to you for getting this gig though.
Very relieved when Huey Morgan and co appear on stage, particularly
as they have kept us waiting for about half an hour. But, ah, Huey.
Huey Morgan. Only you would pull off being called Huey. You might
have less hair now and your face may be a little fuller but you are
still a fine figure of a man
Oh yes, the music. Im here
to write about the music. Ahem.
I last saw Fun Lovin Criminals back in 1996 (I think), at my
first festival (Reading) when Scooby Snacks played from every tent
and three New Yorkers bought their slightly kitsch fusion of jazz,
blues, hip hop and rock to the masses in a way that didnt take
themselves too seriously but didnt detract from the fact that
they were seriously good musicians. 20 years later and youre
playing to a group of middle-aged men, one of whom threatened a girl
with violence and got chucked out (yes, the same guy). Huey quips
he may be getting thrown out but hes the guy thats
managed to get more drunk than any of you. Yeah, I think Ill
just let him get on with it. You have to wonder how the journey brought
That said, even the plus one is moving and smiling when the bands
theme tune Fun Lovin Criminals starts up, launching
something of a nostalgic set but one that manages to sound as fresh
as it does classic. The one whose name nobody ever knew (Brian Leiser)
is tipped tonight as the brains of the band and he looks like he is
too; sharp suits, of course, and emphatically parping his trumpet.
The original drummer has been replaced by Frank, a dude from Leicester
who keeps telling Huey to hurry up (he talks a lot). Not surprisingly,
it is a greatest hits party, showcasing their best bits from the last
20 years, or predominantly those tracks from the late 90s for which
they were so well known. Bringing Loco, King of
New York and most of (all of?) Come Find Yourself
back to life, this is a great reminder of how good a group they are
and their arrangements really do invoke a mood of fun, despite the
drunk men getting ever drunker. The evening ends with the dulcet tones
of Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes as Time of my life
heralds the groups exit with glass of red in hand, leaving those
still dancing with the very best start to their weekend. I have to
admit that, although a fan, even I didnt think the gig would
be that good. It was. Ive read a lot of hipster snobs saying
theyve lost it. They havent. Will they do some new material?