Fun Lovin' Criminals The Event, Brighton

Fun Lovin' Criminals are like a Domino's pizza. With a rumbling stomach at one in the morning, you think it's the best thing in the world, the only thing you could possibly eat and you get all over-excited and drooly at the thought. Then you buy one and find that it's actually fairly flavourless. Even so, you eat the whole thing just in case it gets fabulous in the last bite. I waited for Fun Lovin' Criminals to blow my mind. I was still waiting when they played their encore, when the house lights went up, and slightly less hopefully, when I put my key in the front door.

They should be great. They have a top name (the only other decent names in pop are Kenickie, Daft Punk and Luscious Jackson). They look fantastic - there's drummer Steven Borovini in a hot pink shirt, besuited bassist, keyboardist and trumpeter Fast, and guitarist and stocky little singer Huey X in his low-slung pants with his head shaved to better show off his Italian-stallion beauty. Every single from the album has been excellent. "The Fun Lovin' Criminal" with its comedy trumpet and "Stick 'em up, punk, it's the fun lovin' criminal" hook. The current hit "King of New York", with its ridiculous refrain "La di da da/ Free John Gotti". Their breakthrough, "Scooby Snacks" was such silly, unadulterated genius that it was practically a novelty record.

The first problem for them live is that they have to follow Republica, specifically lead singer Saffron, who stays on key through a hoopla of high kicks, back-arching leaps and frenetic headshakes. She is riveting to watch, no matter how dodgy the music is. FLC slope on stage to the music from The Godfather. They like their films - "Scooby Snacks" samples from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. "King of New York" gets its title from the Christopher Walken film. A few numbers in, Huey namechecks Harvey Keitel. But that's all it is - namechecking. There is nothing dark, thought- provoking or even remotely filmic about their live sound.

No matter - the crowd adore them. The boys in the audience are so into the New York gangster schtick that they keep shouting at the band "fuck off" as a mark of respect. The girls are here because Huey is something of a sex symbol. The truth is that you could find his goofy Tony Danza good looks on any street in Brooklyn and you could probably find a better pop star.

Introducing their cover of "We Have All the Time in the World" he says: "My girlfriend is back in New York so I'll dedicate this to Saffron's mum because I met her before the show and she seemed nice." The cover is unspectacular - not different enough from the original to be exciting, not similar enough to be a tribute. It's odd: Republica have less to work with but they play with such gusto that you could nearly mistake it for great pop. Fun Lovin' Criminals have the goods but it all falls apart on stage.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices