Fat Freddy’s Drop, Brixton Academy, London, June 2006
Beware Hordes of Kiwis, Part 2: The Very Next Night. It is so weird, when I look back, how much the crowd at the Phoenix Foundation I felt tarnished a gig… yet the next night we were amongst a crowd of Kiwis bigger by a factor of ten, even more pissed, for Fat Freddys and it ended up being a riotously funny night. Don’t trivialise this show - Brixton Academy can hold nearly 5,000 punters and I am sure it was packed to the gods. Were they the first NZ act to headline there? I am not sure. It was Kiwi bedlam in all its glory. I always had a bit of trepidation about big expat gatherings in London; I sometimes felt they were a bit too insular, and questioned the purpose of moving 10,000 miles to hang out with your schoolmates, drink Steinies and listen to The Dudes. I was a bit of a dick about it. Yet, there is almost a tipping point to the scale of these things - when they become so bloody big & ridiculous that I think they actually exhibit all our best traits, and an actual ability to behave ourselves en masse - and way better than the Brits in any similar situation. Take the Waitangi Day Circle Line pub crawl: The British post-Iraq government won't let 3 people gather with a sign in Parliament Square, yet 5,000-6,000 pissed Kiwis can turn up, climb Winston Churchill’s statue, do a drunken haka, hug a Bobby, and then leave peacefully without any law enforcement involvment. The Freddy’s gig was a hoot. The air sweet with sticky herb, and I have never seen people carry so much beer away from the bar in a single purchase there. The queue outside beforehand was a social occasion in itself, no one minded cutting in. “Dude!”. “Bro!”. The promoters even strolled along it chatting, and on spotting our heavily pregnant mate in line, they took her inside to a VIP area and got her juice & water before the show. The Drop nailed it. On that huge stage, all decked out in their finery they looked and sounded a million quid - and there were a lot of non-Kiwis at this gig enjoying it as well. Their slow groove and constant touring had won over a lot of fans with Based On A True Story. Standout memory is during ‘Roady’ when Ladi 6 actually fluffed her lines (maybe it was the size of the venue, the crazy atmosphere)… but was it a problem? No. No member of the band even remotely flinched, Dallas smiled & gave her a half hug, no one boo'd or jeered, and Mu just drove the groove around the block again and she nailed it second try - to massive applause. Hilarious show to be in the crowd at. This post’s choice cut is naturally ‘Roady’.