Fun Lovin’ Criminals haven’t had a sizeable hit in the past decade; these days, frontman Huey Morgan earns his bread as a broadcaster and voiceover artist. But nostalgia can exert a powerful pull, in this case sufficiently strong to fill the ABC with faithful fans.
Fun Lovin Criminals
Star rating: * * *
According to the tour title, the Bong Remains The Same and, as if in sanguine acknowledgement that their best days are behind them, the trio tailored most of their set around their first three albums.
However, all three members hit the stage sharply attired, with intent and attitude, and largely succeeded in maintaining what might best be described as a groovy vibe, blending together the street sounds of their native New York to create a tasty stew of rock, funk, hip-hop and even a touch of punk.
Much of the band’s appeal lies in selling a bad-boy flavour of their city to folks who have come no closer to the five boroughs than a Scorsese film, but it was surprising how fresh the likes of King Of New York – about mob boss John Gotti – and the chunky, funky Scooby Snacks still sounded, thanks to Morgan’s fine, funky guitar playing and wiseguy drawl in tight-but-loose partnership with the multi-instrumental skills of fellow founding member Fast.
More surprising was the head of steam they created when they shifted out of their comfortable, mellow gear to go full-throttle on grizzly hard rocker Southside and snotty punk chant Where The Bums Go.