Chris Talks Music with the Fun Lovin' Criminals ahead of their Sheffield show at the O2 Academy2 in September
and live on Freeview channel 276
Fun Lovin' Criminals are all set to make their return to Sheffield with the charismatic founding member Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser taking over lead vocals, alongside “boss man” Frank Benbini on drums and new guitarist Naim Cortazzi — formerly of the Happy Mondays.
Multi-instrumentalist Fast, who plays keys, bass, harmonica and trumpet during a live show and on all Criminals tracks, is now fronting the band after BBC Radio's Huey Morgan suddenly decided to quit the band last year. We discussed their thoughts on Huey’s out of the blue decision and they talk about what it means for them, how they felt about it, excitement over new music and their all important, and long overdue, UK & Europe tour.
You can check out our discussion in full on this week’s episode of the Chris Talks Music podcast with the Fun Lovin’ Criminals
Subscribe and listen to the Chris Talks Music Podcast here: https://anchor.fm/chris-talks-music
The band, whose breakthrough came in the 90s with the massive hit Scooby Snacks, which sampled dialogue from the Tarantino films Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs and Scooby Snacks, are preparing to tour again for the first time with a new lineup and an energetic buzz around their new adventure together.
Fast is straight to the point, pulls no punches and says things exactly as he sees it, something which is a very refreshing take on what some would consider to be a tumultuous period of the long-running band.
“There was only really one person who could perform these songs after Huey decided to quit. That’s me.
“They are songs that I wrote and songs I love to perform.
“Huey wouldn’t play many of our back catalogue live and we spent almost 10 years playing the same set to our fans.
“We got bored and some fans got bored too. It was one of the reasons cracks began to appear in our relationship.
“Huey decided to leave to pursue his radio career and we wish him the best of luck with that.
“But Frank and I want to continue playing to our fans and we are going to play songs that haven’t been played live for 20 years - as well as our fan favourites.”
BBC Radio’s Huey Morgan sensationally quit the band in November last year. And it caused quite a shock to the fanbase of the band that Huey and Fast founded back in 1993 at the notorious Limelight Club in Manhattan — with some (including Huey) questioning whether the gig was finally up for the smooth groovers.
The former friends both worked at the Limelight Club and began writing songs together, filling in as a replacement band when booked acts failed to show up.
Cast your eyes back in time to 1996 and the Fun Lovin’ Criminals rollicking debut album Come Find Yourself was released to critical acclaim. The album was certified Platinum in the UK and Gold in the Netherlands.
In July of this year, that’s 2022, the British Phonographic Society certified the song Silver in recognition of more than 200,000 streams and sales.
The band have since released six studio albums, a three CD live album, and seven compilation albums. At this moment in time, Fast and Frank are working on a new album which is due for release sometime in 2023.
So far, Huey has not made any official statement about his decision to quit the band but Fast and Frank have been subjected to trolling, spurious comments and naysers, on social media.
Fast in his always irreverent tone had this to say of those who jumped to the conclusion that it was over for the Fun Lovin’ Criminals or the FLC to those in the know...
“Some people have said Fun Lovin’ Criminals cannot go on without Huey.
“There have always been three musicians in the band - not one.”
The Fun Lovin’ Criminals will be performing at the o2 Academy2 in Sheffield on Friday, September 9, 2022.
Tickets are available here: https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/fun-lovin-criminals-tickets/artist/888963#gallery