Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Come Find Yourself – Special Edition
(Demon Music Group)
Is it really twenty years since this album was released?? Here the funky trio led by DJ, musician and singer Huey Morgan revisit their classic album Come Find Yourself, adding various contemporary bits and pieces on a second disc which will be of interest to their following.
This crew can make a valid claim to being as ‘street’ as any musical outfit – no suites, concertos or topographic concepts. Rather music that takes in funk, soul, blues, rock’n’roll and other elements to stand alongside Mink de Ville, The Drifters, The Coasters from earlier times. The more popular numbers of course were The Fun Lovin’ Criminal, King of New York and Scooby Snacks. The swagger is there but this group was never self-important, more a party band who could play well and struck a groove. Huey Morgan has a distinctive truly urban vocal delivery and I sometimes hear Johnny Guitar Watson in there, Fast Leiser and Frank Benbini makes a funky racket that is never too far from James Brown or Prince, their hero.
The additional disc has tempting material including sessions recorded at London’s Astoria, a grubby but atmospheric metropolitan venue where many an ace gig took place. I do remember Ryan Adams doing a solemn Brown Sugar at the piano there. It kicks off with I’ll Be Seeing You, growled out by Huey over fluid piano. More affecting than melodic, it’s nice to have. Passive/Aggressive sounds great and so very laid-back, wahwah snarls in the background and a Last Poets vibe in an version tagged Clean; Blues For Suckers has a crisp snare sound and steady bass lope. A 12” mix of The Grave & The Constant glides along on Hammond and electric piano. The dub edition of Scooby Snacks sounds very Compass Point, you almost expect Grace Jones to start hissing along. Wrap-up cut the wah guitar outing King Of New York has a 1 of the Secret Service mix, upping the sinister SuperFly atmosphere as Morgan raps out the John Gotti story.
A band that does its own thing, so very well.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals ‘Come Find Yourself’ – 2oth Anniversary Special Edition is out now on Demon Music Group. For more information visit The Fun Lovin’ Criminals official website: http://bit.ly/1SleesD
(Thanks to Terry Emm at Cannonball PR for help with this review)