This was a Celtic Connections gig, and a great double bill for two very talented Scottish bands, Celtic a bit debatable but certainly a connection. And Saint Lukes was an ideal venue tonight, almost full, with great sound and a great atmosphere.
Fatsuit comprise many musicians – 2 drummers, 2 guitarists, 4 brass players, 2 strings, a bass and two keyboards – they give the feeling of a mini jazz funk orchestra. They are a young band but have done several albums and play a selection from them. The standard of playing is very high indeed and they launch straight into several jazzy workouts with the two keyboards setup working really well.
BM will just insert this from their band page on Facebook – Fat-Suit is on a collective journey through music, using jazz as the point of departure to explore a myriad soundworlds. This ensemble of rotating musicians originated in the collegiate surroundings of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, but it has wasted no time enervating the already vibrant jazz scene in Glasgow.
Pretty much sums it up – at times they made a thunderous noise although there were more reflective moments as well.
‘No Regrets’ was more fiddle-led and had a similar tune of a very old song by My Friend The Chocolate Cake, BM long term faves. The crowd were pretty responsive although some people did not really move, is it a CC cringe factor or what? Anyway the band kept up the pace and the quality and bowed out to huge applause.
Headliners TFOTDP wasted no time in getting down and dirty, no spring chickens these guys, BM knows them by reputation but was looking forward to the live show and they did not disappoint. They have to be the foremost proponents of funk in the Glasgow area, several albums and numerous live shows under their belts, a keyboard-led combo (Marco Cafloia) but with strong support and vocals from guitarist Michael Berrich, bassist Ross Saunders, drummer Dade Thomas and a three piece brass section (Jonny, Cameron and Dave).
They draw from James Brown, Average White Band, Talking Heads and Prince to give us a mighty dose of “da funk”. BM’s New Year res was to “dance more” so that ticked the box pretty much from the start. BM ditched the stacks and did it barefoot, sore the next day mind but it was worth it (missus).
The stabbing horns and howling guitar, driving bass and the main man’s keyboard antics were truly marvelous to watch (when he got the scarf entangled with his keys during an ecstatic solo it was hilarious). The Feds got through a good few numbers (‘Pound For Pound / I Love Tomorrow’, ‘Revelation’, ‘Gimme Some Light’ to name a few) before they brought rapper Scope onstage for several numbers. Looking a bit nervous in a bowtie and tux, he was just amazing, reeling the words out backed by the best in the business. This was a real treat, starting with ‘On The Ground’, then ‘Crank’. The music was stopped for a spoken word number which bravely mentioned refugees and the shitty state of world affairs in 2017, before they went for ‘No Place Like Home’ a Feds standard, with added Scope. You would have to have been clinically dead not to move to this, and it was well sweaty, Betty!
This band is at the top of their game, having the time of their lives and every song is a brutal battle, physically demanding at a visceral level. Exhausting as well… So a couple more songs and an encore completed this gig, many dancers (although not everyone, if you did wanna dance what were you doing here?).
Fair play to both bands and the venue and the whole event, really enjoyed this!