Tag Archive: Wulfrun

Fun Lovin’ Criminals + Klasside @ Wulfrun Hall, Wolves Civic, Wolverhampton UK – 19 January 2014

So on a January eve the boys that make up the Fun Lovin’ Criminals are back. They’ve kinda not been away – just lower profile as a band. The boys from New York City are in Wolverhampton City tonight, with their laid back, humorous and tongue-in-cheek approach to life.

FLCSo exactly who are FLC. They’ll be vocalist and guitarist Huey Morgan, Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser on all sorts of instruments and Frank Benbini on drums, percussion and vocals. Formed 21 years ago, it was their 1996 debut album ‘Come Find Yourself’ that found us smoozing to ‘The Fun Lovin’ Criminal’, King of New York’ and snacking on ‘Scoobie Snacks.’ Their album spent a year in the UK charts, but failed to make any impact in their native US. ‘98s ‘100% Columbian’ was grittier and included ‘Love Unlimited’ a tribute to the legendary Barry White. Albums keep coming and they’ve continued to release and play live, which band members have got involved with other things. Morgan is a regular on BBC radio (notably BBC6 Music and Radio 2), whilst the other members have done side projects.

So tonight should be a fun gig and we’re looking forward to it.

Support comes from Midlands band Klasside. According to their website they formed in 2011 and combine elements of rock, funk, rap and folk into a melodic, modern sound. They have an EP out – if you like ‘em – message ‘em on Facebook and they’ll send you a copy for free. This six piece including acoustic guitar player, come across quite surprising not as heavy as their own individual person tastes – which certainly cover the indie rock genre – tracks involve lots of “yeeeaaaays”. They’re pretty tight. Last track up is their take on House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’ an ecletic mix of the original backing track and them playing over it in their own unique style. They’re consistently touring around the Midlands – they’ll be back at the Slade Rooms on 16 Feb – more information – check out their website: www.klasside.co.uk

FLC’s tour hasn’t had all the rig-ma-roll of many tours; the date was just announced and the Wulfrun is full with an truly eclectic mix of fans. And as we waiting tracks such as ‘Hit the Road Jack’ are remixed with a smooth Columbian vibe that gets a feet a-tapping.

Just before 9 – the lights go down and on they come. “How ya doing Wolverhampton…. Yay baby…” as suited and booted in Blues Brothers style they’re bouncing round the stage rapping in true Run DMC style. “Wolverhampton, how you been – it’s been a while – gonna say I can’t hear you… but I can. Really good to be here.” Huey is SMMMMMMOOOOTTHHH baby, chatty, engaging and funny, this is no retro tour; the boys are here to charm – and genuinely to party.

Now we get the bluesy fuck that is ‘King of New York’ – for a three piece they are hugely professional. “Wolves in the house…. Bringing the love in all forms…” Frank’s mom is in the house tonight, we are assumed that they won’t curse too much out of respect.

The tracks they play are an eclectic mix, as they morph from rap, to bluesy Columbian style with a bit of cheeky gangsta, to full on rock – Huey being applauded at times for his axemanship. For all their smoothness there’s the alternative view of their New York blues – ‘Southside’ is heavy, even nears a screaming repetitive chorus, and a remixed grind.Huey’s in conversation with a female in the audience “… well I never… sweet thing, girl…” as he raises a glass to the audience.

The promoter gave them a nice bottle of tequila (more like rocket fuel were told), so the boys are happy. As we get into the intro: “Everyone be cool, this is a robbery! If any of you f*****g pricks move and I’ll execute every motherf*****g one of you…”

We’re into ‘Scoobie Snacks’ and we dance and sing away – track goes down well with the crowd, to big cheers. ‘Were the Bums Go’ finds us in full on traditional punk territory – “wooooaahhh” go the crowd. And between the smooth, the rock, the punk and the rap – we get skiffle as we’re into the punky tinged ‘10th Street.’

Huey is the words and axesmith, but don’t let Fast and Frank be outdone, Fast at one point is playing keyboards and trombone at the same time, while Frank takes on guitar and drums. We’re enjoying the gig, they’re enjoying it – what more could you ask for. Encore and we get the Barry White’s with ‘Love Unlimited’ and “yeeeeeehhhhhaaaaarrr” – The Fun Lovin’ Criminal.

And as they take their leave, to rapturous applause “… the shows over, you know what I mean?” Huey can’t resist shaking hands, saying thanks and thoroughly enjoying it.

Tonight we got ‘Fun’ in bucketloads, ‘Lovin’’ – hell yeah baby, ‘Criminals’ oh definitely in a very cheeky way, each charismatic band member has a big grin and wicked sparkle in the eye. Can’t deny that it was ‘Scoobie Snacks’ and ‘The Fun Lovin’ Criminal’ that were standouts – but this is a gig you left with a gig grin and infectious tunes running through your head too, that you just couldn’t shake off. Let’s hope they’re back soon. Go and see, go and play. It’d be criminal not to.

*****************************************************

 Review for Gig Junkies; Pictures by Ken Harrison.

Gary Numan + Jayce Lewis @ Wolverhampton Wulfrun,18th September 2011

Well the gig season has started over the summer. The first of hopefully a few. The full review is on the Birmingham Live website, with pictures by John Bentley.

Well, how the music scene goes through phases. You can be cool. Then incredibly uncool. Then go though a really tough time. And then, by hook and by crook, you’re sneakily cool again – almost übercool when the right (currently) cool people cite you as a musical influence.  And so to a Sunday night out in Wolverhampton in the Wulfrun. Here to see the proverbial introvert who’s followed this path over a thirty plus year career. A person who flatly refuses to give up; Mr Gary Webb – better known as industrial techno innovator Gary Numan.

Numan is one of those hidden giants of musical influence, cited by those from gothic rock (think Manson to Reznor), to alternative rock maestros the Foos and Queens of the Stone Age, through to his music being sampled by the likes of Basement Jaxx, Afrika Bamabaata Wu Tang Clan and, oh yes, the Sugarbabes.

This is Numan’s autumn tour to promote his new album ‘Dead Son Rising’, co-written and produced with collaborator of the last six years, Ade Fenton. Tonight’s Wulfrun gig is the fourth of seven dates. Support comes from Welshman Jayce Lewis – heavy dance rhythms crossed with industrial and tribal drumming. He could well be a rising star, having signed a 5 year record deal with EMI. Useless fact of the night is that he is promoted by Dave Prowse who’s most notable for playing Darth Vader in the original Star Wars films…

Numan is a busy man and this is the first of two simultaneously produced album (‘Splinter’ is due for release in 2012).  Frontman of Tubeway Army (they signed to the legendary Beggar’s Banquet label in 1977) Numan was heavily inspired by glam rock, Bowie, and Phillip K Dick. He saw the potential of electronica in the time when CDs weren’t thought of, the mobile phone was a BT telephone kiosk and it was seven years before Apple released the Mac via their iconic 1984 ad. Playing with such gizmos in the punk era was a brave move, with Kraftwerk blazing the way while others like Depeche Mode, Soft Cell and OMD had just started dabbling. I remember watching Top of The Pops and performances of ‘Cars’ and ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’. I also remember Numan as somewhat strange, distant, something about plane crashes and hair transplants. But during the nineties and noughties, he rebuilt his following, constantly recording. The rewards for the hard work came as the new wave of industrial and electronic acts noted him as inspirational, his tracks started being sampled left, right and centre. And then there was the massive Stateside hit with Fear Factory’s cover of ‘Cars’.

Even now, he still makes ‘announcements’ (currently something about emmigrating to the US). And as I reached my teenage years Numan’s commercial star had shone brightly and waned, and I have to say, while I latched onto others, Numan totally passed me by. So a chance tonight to see what I have missed out on….

Tonight’s reception is raucous, the lights go down, the crowd chant “Numan……Numan….. Numan.” So with digital screen backdrop, strobe lighting and a lot of dry ice – on he comes, accompanied to a slow, deep rhythmic pound and into ‘Resurrection’ / ‘Down in the Park.’ Great reception from the crowds – and the first of a handful of words – “Thank you.”

The backing rhythms are full industrial; think NIN, Manson, Rammstein, all of whom use this thumping to great effect. And his voice is still a Bowiesque nasal wail, which so clearly defined his hits of his early career. He still has the jet black hair and black eyeliner – he is still very, er, Gary Numan. With the dark rhythmic sound, he is well immersed in his music, with the occasional hands aloft to the crowd, and covers a range of songs from the years, including new tracks from the album – standout title track ‘Dead Son Rising’.

The crowd consists of a dedicated fan base – a devotee occasionally shouts “We love yow!”  The main set is rounded off by ‘I Die: You Die’, the 1980 hit, which made number 6 in the singles charts. Lights up at the end of this set and we can see a smiley Numan – clearly well chuffed at the response.

Back on for the encore, and clearly what the audience have been waiting for, and it’s into ‘Cars’ a darker tubthumping version of the original, then into ‘My Shadow in Vain’ before completing with ‘Are ‘Friends’ Electric’ – a reprise version – think NIN ‘Hurt’ with industrial power bass and drums for the chorus.

Numan is an introvert – his bubble is very much his own and he clearly enjoys and loves what he does, and that comes across. A man of few words to his audience – another ‘thank you’ at the end, for the listener you either love / hate or hate what he does. For those interested in the 80s revival scene he did play his key hits. But you should expect full on industrial power-thumping rock.  And if you like this particular music scene, Numan very clearly does it on his own terms. His new stuff is sill current – take a listen via his site to see if you think he is worth a view –http://www.numan.co.uk. Once a fan you may well become a devotee.

Listening to all the plaudits, all the gushing expressions of inspiration, Numan really should be massive. And he certainly shows that the music scene does the rounds. And it is the resilience and independence and uniqueness brings him on stage tonight, a full thirty-four years after signing that piece of paper for Beggars Banquet. Fair play man.

****

Selist:

  1. Resurrection / Down in the Park
  2. The Fall
  3. Haunted
  4. When the Sky Bleeds
  5. Films
  6. Big Noise Transmission
  7. Pure
  8. Dead Son Rising
  9. Every Day I Die
  10. We are The Lost
  11. Absolution
  12. For the Rest of My Life
  13. Noise Noise
  14. Everything Comes Down to This
  15. Jagged
  16. I Die You Die

Encore:

  1. Cars
  2. My Shadow in Vain
  3. Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

*******

Listening:

Jayce Lewis (2010)

Gary Numan:

Dead Sun Rising (2011)

Look out for:  Splinter (2012)

Latest news and updates: www.numan.co.uk

Jayce Lewis  website : myspace.com/jaycelewismusic