Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Watch Rare Concert Footage Of The Fun Boy Three From 1983
Lately I've been spending a lot of time listening to 80's new wave as part of my new gig as the bass player for Rude Boy George -- a band that performs ska and reggae versions of classic songs from the era. As such, my experiences as a new wave meets ska musician have made me love and appreciate the Fun Boy Three even more. So, imagine my excitement at discovering an entire live show recorded during a concert in Cologne, West Germany in May of 1983 (right before the band broke up) that was aired on television in Japan.
Like most, I was shattered when The Specials broke-up in the early 80's. When I heard the first Fun Boy Three album "Fame" when it was released in 1981, I have to confess I was confused by it. It was a complete departure from The Specials 2-Tone sound and it quickly established the band as pop stars and household names across the U.K. The 11-track album had a distinct African influence that was heavy on drums, percussion and Jamaican-styled vocal harmonies.
Over time "Fame" grew on me and when their second and final album "Waiting" was released in 1983 I was a huge fan. Produced by David Byrne of Talking Heads, the collection was an amazing mix of pop, reggae and avant-rock with just a hint of all round weirdness. I never saw FB3, so imagine my excitement at discovering an entire live show recorded during a concert in Cologne, West Germany in May of 1983 (right before the band broke up) that was aired on television in Japan.
Aside from their off kilter yet accessible look and sound, Fun Boy Three were notable for having an entirely female backing band that included keyboardist/arranger Nicky Holland, trombonist Annie Whitehead, cellist Caroline Lavelle, original girl punker and drummer June Miles-Kingston (of The Mo-Dettes), and vocalist Ingrid Schroeder. Watch an interview of Terry Hall and Lynval Golding discussing the benefits of having an all woman band:
The full concert which features tracks from both their albums (as well as a version of The Specials "Gangsters") is broken up into five videos below, but is worth the time to watch and listen to one of the most unique and overlooked bands of the 80's.
1. Faith And Hope And Charity
2. The Pressure Of Life 3:03
3. The Telephone Always Rings 6:34
4. Farmyard Connection
5. The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum 2:26
6. Things We Do 6:11
7. Well Fancy That
8. Summertime 3:27
9. Alibi 6:20
10. Our Lips Are Sealed
11. The Tunnel Of Love 3:48
12. We Are Having All The Fun 7:16
14. The More I See The Less I Believe (incomplete) 4:14