A group of New York rockers promise to put on a criminally-good show tonight.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals, famed for their smooth blend of funk, soul and rock, will take to the stage at Durham Gala as part of BRASS Festival.
In keeping with the annual festival, a celebration of brass music in all its forms, the trio will be joined by a specially-commissioned brass section.
Speaking to the Echo, frontman Huey Morgan, who juggles being in the band with his own shows on BBC Radio 2 and 6Music, said: “The gig coincides with the anniversary of our first gig in New York 20 years.
“At the time we just played because a friend asked us to. We didn’t think we’d make it a year, never mind 20.
“We never started the band to be popular, we started because we wanted to do a different kind of music.”
Tonight’s gig will be a unique chance to see the platinum-selling band, who are best known for tracks including Scooby Snacks and Love Unlimited, play with a horn section.
“It’s cool because we can pick and choose gigs we do now and this one is great, because we got to choose guys who we know are bad cats,” said Huey.
“Our music is blues, it’s just interpreted in a different way, and these cats appreciate that that’s what we’re doing.
“Usually we play 100 per cent for the audience, but I think this time we’ll be playing for ourselves as well.
In my book I look back at my musical education and that rebellious spirit that fuelled the music we know and love. It’s something that’s waning lately. Kanye West is the only feather-ruffler out there and he’s not even that good at it.Huey Morgan, from Fun Lovin’ Criminals
“A lot of people forget about instruments, they have these virtual instruments on their computers.
“But there really is no substitute for a brass horn section or actual drums.”
Speaking about the North East music scene, Huey said: “I pick every song on my radio show, there’s so much freedom to play cool music, and I play a lot of North East music.
“We were up there for 6Music Festival and I heard so much great music.”
The US singer, who recently released book Rebel Heroes, said: “In my book I look back at my musical education and that rebellious spirit that fuelled the music we know and love.
“It’s something that’s waning lately. Kanye West is the only feather-ruffler out there and he’s not even that good at it.
“At Glastonbury he had the opportunity to do something really well and instead he just talked about himself. He played at the crowd, which goes against the ethos of a festival. As a band, we always play for the crowd.”
Fun Lovin’ Criminals are one of the many highlights of this year’s BRASS Festival.
Events are taking place across Durham including Alternative BRASS, hosted by BBC 6Music DJ Steve Lamacq, which will see live performances from nine bands at Gala.
Festival favourite Streets of BRASS returns tomorrow and Sunday when a host of acts will perform through Durham’s historic cobbled streets.
•There are a limited number of tickets remaining for Fun Lovin’ Criminals tonight at Durham Gala Theatre. For tickets and more festival details visit www.brassfestival.co.uk.