Casual Bodies

Dressed in kilts, Fun Lovin' Criminals are quite literally all talk and no trousers...

Pick you up around nine, baby. Gonna show you around, and I know you’ll like that. Take you to my place, and be cool, real cool. Tell you some things that I know you’ll wanna hear. What you talkin’ about, baby? You know I love you. But baby, please listen. I also love myself.

Oh, they’re so [I]smooth[/I], Huey and his boys. They’ve got the lines for you, like did you know how much they love Scottish people? You did? Well, OK. They’ve got the kilts for you, too, which they’re wearing out of respect. You knew that too? Well, grrrreat. Huey and his boys: they’ve got the lines, the jokes, the looks, the kilts, the mirrored revue-bar curtain. And the songs?

Well, Huey and the boys are cool. In fact, as far as walking the walk of success in Cuban heels, dressed to impress, with the ‘tood to set the mood, the coolest. They do things like rock stars used to do them, and leave the others gawping. Fun Lovin’ Criminals, like, go out with supermodels. They rock the stretch limo with the champagne. They tell dirty jokes about Monica Lewinsky. And they love you people.

Which is, obviously, obligatorily, cool. The lights dim, to the strains of Frank’s ‘Theme From New York New York’, and the rhapsodical chant of “HUUUUEYYY! HUUUUEYYY!” ushers in the weed-smokin’, all welcome if you’re cool and if you’re here then you must be, easy-listening hip-rock revue. ‘Bombin’ The L’, it is, and then to follow, an abrupt shift to the punk rock of ‘Tenth Street’, and then, basically, you’ve heard it, hour upon hour, as a procession of nearly identical lite-rock accompanies Huey’s jive talk, his bedroom talk, his, well… talk.

And the talk is fantastic. “Due to his choice of apparel, our drummer Steve O is experiencing chafing,” he informs us of the hazards of traditional Scottish attire. “We present to you a rock song, and the sound of Steve O… becoming CHAFED!”

But it is, quite literally, all talk and no trousers. There are moments to marvel at certainly: the dexterity of bass player/ trumpeter/keyboard player Fast, and the comic-serious wit of ‘Scooby Snacks’ and ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminal’, but the majority of their newer material – even the ironically unclimactic ‘Love Unlimited’ – sits on a terribly bland plateau, which they rather uncoolly insist on exploring with us in great detail.

The musically cool always leave you hungry. Fun Lovin’ Criminals, meanwhile, make you realise that their mouths are writing cheques their kilts alone cannot cash.

Outta here, man, and it was fun. But only for a while.