Friday, 17 July 2015

Fun Lovin’ Criminals / Artistas del Gremio - Live at The Gala Theatre, as part of Durham Brass Festival [17th July 2015]

[2015.07.17] Tom Hollingworth, for NARC Magazine.

Billed as a headline event of the Durham Brass Festival, Huey and Chums were set to put a jewel in the crown at The Gala Theatre with their brand of schmoove, mob-inspired hip-hop. Entering the venue, this possibility seemed doubtful initially, as the auditorium felt palpably sparse as the night began.

Members of the all-brass support, Artistas del Gremio, crept onto stage like faux-timid pantomime pucks before unleashing a wealth of camp alongside masterfully rearranged covers, including Bohemian Rhapsody and I Feel Good. Perhaps their unapologetic monkeying around was a yin to our headliner’s yang. It certainly was an unlikely ECT start, but seemed to spark the hips of this almost exclusively young-in-the-90’s crowd; a shot of something present in the arm before nostalgic feelings could be satisfied.

The theatre had filled when The Fun Lovin’ Criminals, complete with their singer’s cheshire grin, arrived on the stage to joyous applause and kicked off with their winking protest song, King Of New York. Particular highlights of the night were Bombin’ The L and Up On The Hill. To add colour, and service the festival, a brass trio accompanied the band throughout.

This greatest hits show, though trapped in the pre-millenium glory days of the group, was enthusiastically performed and what was loved then, was lapped up now in an unlikely setting for New York grooves.

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