Monday, October 15The Voice of London

Fat Freddy’s Drop: Silly Name That Stuck

Fat Freddy’s Drop are an example of a band that doesn’t know limits in time, space and genres.

Words: Mattia Bosio, Subeditor: Alex Hurd

Fat Freddy's Drop. Credits: Creative Commons
Fat Freddy’s Drop. Source: Wikimedia/Sanellie

The kiwi seven-piece from Wellington, on their 16th anniversary, prove once again that their capable of a revolution in music. A revolution that starts with their story. A band formed in the streets of Wellington, New Zealand in 1999 made up of members from other bands and jam session lovers.

The improvised live performances, which are still now a solid point of the band, were then moved into studios, where the mix of reggae, dub, soul, funk, hip hop and techno took form in the creation of their first album Based On A True Story in 2005. From that point FFD never slowed down.

The continuous research of poetic ambient sounds, deep bass and ethnic music cemented the band worldwide. In the past 10 years, the ‘seven-headed soul monster’, filled up arenas and halls, bringing their kiwi vibes overseas and creating, beat by beat, a unique example of transversal and transnational music.

Fat Freddy’s Drop’s music has been categorised as Aotearoa roots music, the contemporary music inspired by Māori and Pacific Islander culture, and most of the band members have Māori roots.

However, the New Zealand’s funk machine has showed, especially in the last two albums, Blackbird and Bays, a sensational ability to grab a different range of influences from the most hidden corners of jazz, reggae and soul and blend them together with progressive techno and dub beats. The result is a explosion of sounds that, at first, will make you move your toes and, by the end of the album, will get you shaking and jumping.

Fat Freddy’s Drop are back in London for two dates (24-25 March) at the O2 Academy in Brixton. Don’t miss the chance to see them live.