Fast and Frank Benbini from Fun Lovin’ Criminals will play a three-hour funk, soul and disco set at the Baltic Triangle’s Brick Street.
The New Yorker and ‘King of Leicester’ will grace the decks at Liverpool’s coolest funk, soul and rum bar and host the official Fun Lovin’ Criminals After Show Party from midnight on Saturday 5th May. Their appearance at Brick Street will follow the band’s headline gig at the free Warrington Music Festival at Golden Square.
The accomplished composers, DJs and multi-platinum selling artists will bring a lifetime of musicianship to the venue for what will be an unmissable party.
London-based Fast’s talent became clear at an early age, playing in a hand-bell choir at a church in his native Brooklyn before picking up the trumpet, bass and learning piano, which have all provided the slick rhythm for the Fun Lovin’ Criminals classic songs.
He began deejaying at 13 years old in 1985 and his early influences were Depeche Mode, Vangelis – he is a huge Blade Runner fan – and The Cure. When Fast met the Criminals’ frontman Huey Morgan at Peter Gatien’s The Limelight, the now closed controversial club in NYC, in 1993 the pair began to lay the foundations for the band who went on to perform worldwide and sell millions of records.
The job at The Limelight, checking coats and answering phones – which he hilariously spoofed in the 2001 video for Bump starring supermodel Jodie Kidd – gave him a further education in music from acts performing, from reggae, dancehall, house, techno, rock, funk and grunge, as well as the explosion of hip hop with the likes of A Tribe Called Quest and Wu-Tang Clan.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals released Come Find Yourself in 1996 and two years ago celebrated the 20th anniversary of the seminal classic that infused so many styles you’d think they were “from the UN”, to quote Huey’s hee-haw rap lyric on the opening track, The Fun Lovin’ Criminal, with a sell-out European tour.
Since then they have released seven studio albums, a rare three-cd live album, Fun, Live and Criminal and are following 2010’s Classic Fantastic with Another Mimosa, which is due for release in 2018.
Fast and drummer Frank ‘The Rhythm Man’ Benbini are also Radio Riddler, a reggae band who released a magnificent remix of Prince’s classic album Purple Rain, featuring guest singers Ali Campbell, Beverley Knight, Sinead O’Connor, Citizen Cope and Deborah Bonham, the sister of late Led Zeppelin drummer John, in 2014. The band have toured extensively supporting UB40 on their sold out European tours.
As Uncle Frank he tours, with guitarist Naim Cortazzi, drummer brother Junior Benbini and bassist Luke Bryan, nationwide with the Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club, The Allergies and Smoove and Turrell.
A spokesperson for Brick Street said: “Fast is one of the most imaginative and talented musicians of the past 20 years. We are a venue for music lovers and Fast and Frank’s DJ set will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of our first year.
“Uncle Frank have released brilliant records and the album Love Lion in 2017. You can hear the influence of Frank’s hero Prince and Frank and his band are 21st century pioneers of funk and soul. As Craig Charles himself says, ‘funk and soul is not a history lesson’.
“Since we opened in February, the venue has become one of the most popular in the Baltic Triangle and the Bank Holiday weekend will be an amazing experience for everyone who comes down.
“We have Boca 45 playing hip hop on Friday 4th, then we are hosting a stage for Liverpool Sound City during Saturday before Fast and Frank come to play. It will be an incredible weekend of music and good times.”
Follow Brick Street on Instagram and Facebook @BalticBrickStreet. The venue is open Thursday to Saturday from 8pm until 2am. On Saturday 5th May the venue will be open from 2pm for Liverpool Sound City. Brick Street has extended its opening hours until 3am over the Bank Holiday weekend.