Fun Lovin’ Criminals : Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall

Silly as it may seem, it's somehow difficult not to be seduced...

It’s been a couple of years since the Fun Lovin’ Criminals have released anything of interest. Tonight, it would appear that Huey and friends are painfully aware of this as the vast majority of the set is lifted from their first two long-players. Still, it makes for a good show.

Silly as it may seem, it’s somehow difficult not to be seduced by the sincerity of their Barry White tribute ‘Love Unlimited’. Writing quality songs about skinning-up has also long been part of FLC’s forte, particularly in the case of ‘Korean Bodega’ and a manic ’10th Street’, which is punctuated by Mackie’s furious drumming. The man’s talent behind the kit is little short of astounding and is underlined as he effortlessly drifts into a few bars of ‘The Funky Drummer’ during ‘Scooby Snacks’ as though it were him who played on the seminal James Brown classic. These undoubted highlights are marred only slightly by some dull moments of so-called ‘lounge’ action. Even the usually excellent ‘The Grave And The Constant’ seems laboured and the weak-as-piss disco effort of ‘Bump’ should be relegated to obscurity sooner rather than later. Genial though he is, Huey’s self-proclaimed “great” jokes about taxi-drivers and butt-naked girls are really only for those who share his ‘sense of humour’ or a cringing-deficiency. The Wolverhampton faithful seem to have neither. Still, the encore features a blistering, guitar-wank embellished version of ‘The Fun Lovin’ Criminal’ and the perfect finale of ‘We Have All The Time In The World’. Exactly how much time they do have left may well be down to how long Huey decides to spend in his new pizza joint. But as long as gangster-chic prevails and they keep playing the classics, the Fun Lovin’ Criminals should be OK for the time being.

Hardeep Phull