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Fun Lovin' Criminals - The Albert Hall, Manchester 04.03.2017

Last year, I went to see the Fun Lovin Criminals on their 'Come Find Yourself', 20th Anniversary Tour. They played the album front to back, and then a couple of the most popular songs as an encore. For someone that grew up listening to the album, and seeing it in it's entirety, it was brilliant. The whole group were on point and played the songs enthusiastically and looked like they were enjoying it.

Fast forward a year, and FLC are on tour again. Having seen the first album, I was desperate to see some more tracks from the other albums, and enjoy a cool night, in what is a stunning venue. What I witnessed was a band who unfortunately looked split. On the final day of the tour, Huey was obviously in a jovial mood, as witnessed by him stumbling on stage, slurring his way through words and failing on many occasions to play the songs in full.

It left Fast and Big Frank to pick up the pieces. Fast is genuinely the brains behind the band, regularly playing with both his hands and feet to form the full basis of the songs I've come to enjoy, and Frank is an understated, but excellent drummer, with one of my most favourite snare cracks I've ever heard. The set, in the most part, was almost identical to how I saw them last year, although slightly shuffled, and that in itself, left a slight bitter taste in my throat. I've heard all these songs recently, and FLC have 6 albums of material to choose and show off, and while a fair few tracks off 'Come Find Yourself' are classics, I really wanted to hear more off 'Loco', '100% Columbian' and 'Livin in the City'.

And that led me to my most loaded criticism. It just felt like it was a tour to get a pay cheque. Especially with Huey being so drunk, it really was like they were milking the good name of the band for another tour, and to get some money. Don't get me wrong. I love this band, and have done for over 20 years now, but it really put a downer on the gig that so little care was put into either a few extra different songs, or you know, being at least semi-sober and able to play your instrument competently through a whole set.

Review - Oli Williams

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