Review: Fun Lovin Criminals bring Scooby Snacks to St Helens

Posted on 29 August 2011
By Chris Bradley
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The kings of cool Fun Lovin Criminals reigned supreme when they brought their New York funk to St Helens this weekend and hometown hero Johnny Vegas was spotted getting down to the groove.

Music Live brought “the ambassador of cool” Huey Morgan and his sidekicks Fast and Frank ‘The Rhythm Man’ Benbini to play to a packed crowd in Church Square, St Helens.

Brit and double MOBO award winner Lemar played the free gig featuring X-Factor stars Laura Smith and Encore.

The Criminals, who formed in the infamous Limelight club in New York in 1993, played a selection of tracks from their seven albums, including the huge hits from their debut album, Come Find Yourself, Scooby Snacks, The Fun Lovin’ Criminal and King of New York.

Tracks from 100% Colombian, Loco and latest album Classic Fantastic were perfect grooves for an outdoor gig on a Summer afternoon.

But just as Huey launched into the soulful funk of the album title track, he stopped the band from playing when he spotted a man fighting in the crowd.

“What you doin’ fighting at a Fun Lovin’ Criminals gig, man?” said Huey, as police officers escorted the man away.

Always the professional showman, Mr Morgan apologised to the crowd and carried on with the set.

But not before calling the man, who was arrested by Merseyside Police, a “schmuck”.

Comedian Johnny Vegas made an appearance at the one-day festival and said he was proud that St Helens Council was putting on such a big gig in his hometown.

Johnny said: “It’s brilliant, I’m amazed the Fun ‘Lovin Criminals are here. It’s great putting on a gig like this to get everybody out and you couldn’t ask for a cooler band could ya?”

Johnny also revealed he and Huey are working on a new TV show, where they play a pair of mismatched cops.

“Huey’s the ambassador of cool, isn’t he?” said the comedian, who signed autographs and posed for pictures with fans.

Backstage after the show, Leicester born FLC drummer Frank – real name Mark Reid – said: “It was great man! It’s going on quite early for us, we’re usually night owls but to get this kind of reaction was fantastic.

“The sun came out and there was a little bit of trouble but our new thing now is to stop the show and get them taken out.”

“It was one person in 2000 people but we don’t want them ruining it. I think everybody had a great time.”

Signing body parts of adoring female fans and posing for photographs, Huey quipped: “St Helens is the cultural centre of Britain.”

The multi-talented Fast, the Brooklyn man behind the Fun Lovin’ Criminals sound, thanked his friend Johnny Vegas for getting them to play in the town.

Fast said: “Johnny Vegas, our old friend, said you gotta come and do a gig in my hometown and it was good times. We love doin’ gigs, it’s sort of towards the tail end of our last record and it was all great, man.”