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 Fun Lovin Criminals Rock the Villa

So, is Huey as cool in real life? Absolutely! Initially, it seemed a strange decision by the Department of Tourism and Leisure to bring over the Fun Lovin' Criminals. They are neither hard rock enough for the stereotypical biker nor mainstream enough for the locals.

Yet the gig in the Villa Marina gardens on Saturday night was well attended with 3,400 people attending - considerably more than for Cast, Reef or Republica last year.

For a three-piece FLC put on a surprisingly varied set and they dished out the favourites such as The Fun Lovin' Criminal, Scooby Snacks, Loco (the Miller Beer advert) and Korean Bodega with gusto. Some of the more chilled-out Latino tracks were given hard guitar treatment but maintained a laid-back feel.

Huey is as much an entertainer as a musician and cracked a few jokes which cannot be repeated here. He also gave versatile bassist/keyboard player Brian Leiser and drummer Maxwell Jayson a rest by treating the audience to a solo set which included a cover of Johnny Cash's Delia.

They ended their first 'finish' with a drawn out version of Big Night Out, with Huey comically referring to past conquests Cat Deeley and Kylie Minogue. They made the standard stage comeback and treated the audience to several more tracks.

After the telling the audience the police were complaining and they had to go they capped off a cracking evening with their version of Louis Armstrong's We Have All the Time in the World. The was a great night out marred only by the lack of bars with just one catering for thousands of people which was permanently eight-people deep with people ordering 15 drinks.

FLC may have made a few new fans in the Island after this fine, entertaining set. The idea of a band such as FLC coming to the Island didn't sit comfortably somehow but the decision, as far as I'm concerned, has been fully vindicated.

Huey knew he'd delivered and finished the evening by saying:

'Van Morrison, cop that!'


James Campbell (Isle of Man Newspapers).

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