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Fat Freddy’s Drop brings dub fusion to Pipeline Cafe
Jun 30, 2010 - 01:09 PM | by Jamie Winpenny
HONOLULU—Fat Freddy’s Drop is a seven-piece band that deftly fuses elements of dub, reggae, rhythm and blues, and soul. Hailing from Wellington, New Zealand, the group has found international success through persistent touring and the release of four albums (two live, two studio). Fat Freddy’s Drop began gaining significant international interest in 2003, eventually being asked to play the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
They’ve remained deeply connected to their Maori roots, and trombone and tuba player Joe “Hopepa” Lindsay is struck by the Polynesian parallels to be found between the Maori and Hawaiian cultures. “The similarities are really amazing,” he says, “particularly with the language. Of course, New Zealand can be quite a bit chillier.”
Known for their improvisational performance style, Fat Freddy’s Drop has been called a “jam band,” which calls to mind tie-dyes and noodling guitar solos, but their sound is much bigger than that. With leaden grooves and a booming horn section, Fat Freddy’s Drop is, in a word, hypnotic.
The band carries that improvisational live approach into the studio, successfully capturing the energy of their concerts on the albums Based on a True Story and Dr. Boondigga and the Big BW. “Improvisation is part of the process of the evolution of the jams,” says Lindsay.
Coming off a brief West Coast tour, the band is looking forward to the modest amount of down time their Hawaii stop affords them. “It’s great, man,” confides Lindsay. “I’m just about to get on a boat for a sea cruise.” When it is suggested that it’s a beautiful day for a boat trip, he bursts into laughter, practically giddy. “Yeah, I’m really hating it!” he jokes.
Fat Freddy’s Drop will play the final leg of the current tour on Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island before heading back to New Zealand. They’ll have some time off before embarking on an extended European tour later this summer. The welcome rest will be spent with family. “We’ll do some housework and try to have a few jams,” says Lindsay. “Really, it’s time to spend with our ladies and kids.”
Lindsay says that playing in Hawaii is the perfect way to end a tour. “We’re ready to go home, but we’ll be going with huge smiles on our faces. We’re ecstatic.”
Fat Freddy’s Drop plays Pipeline Café, 805 Pokukaina, on Thursday, July 1. All ages. $22 cover. Doors open at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets available at at Pipeline Café, Hungry Ear, Butigroove, Holy Smokes (both locations), Rasta Headquarters (both locations), UH Campus Center and online at www.pipelinecafehawaii.com. 06/30/10 >> go there