Review: Fat Freddy’s Drop, Manchester Academy

Wellington based New Zealand band Fat Freddy’s Drop (FFD) return to Manchester Academy to perform the first of two sell-out gigs. This ahead of an eagerly awaited album release.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 20 November 2018

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The darkness of the academy is lit up with the band’s latest artwork associated to their latest ‘trickle down’ track release. The psytrance esk eye ball, lit up with bright neon lights, acts as a focal point above centre of the stage.

MC slave appears first and introduces the band onto stage. The ever growing roars, cheers and applause heightens from the crowd as Hopepa (trombone player) struts on stage donning tight white glitter trousers, white trench coat and white sweatband.

This guy epitomises the meaning of being a showman and would look right at home on Manchester’s Canal Street.

‘Russia’ is the intro track from their popular Blackbird album. The crowd eventually settles into a sea of people dub skanking, which is continued through into their second track ‘Slings’. Dallas screams ‘Manchester how you feeeeling?’ which is immediately followed by a roar of appreciation for their opening tracks.

Eventually the crowd quietens down and Dobie Blaze (keys) picks the perfect moment to begin stabbing out the intro chords to ‘Blackbird’ and the Academy simply goes off.

The musicianship developed over the 19 years this band has been together clearly shines on tracks like this, Dallas soothing voice, the tightness of the brass section, the faultless rhythm and base from the keys, guitar and DJ Fitchie. FFD’s are certainly a band at the top of their game.

‘Shiverman’ is their final track which is expectedly followed by a lengthy and well received encore where the band is accompanied on stage by Karoline from Ladi6. FFD impress yet again, professionally taking you on their journey of individual dub, reggae, soul, jazz, rhythm & blues and techno fused sounds.

Its special when a band can make you feel like you could almost be listening to them jamming in the recording studio and even more so with a band as unique as Fat Freddy’s Drop.