The Fat Jokers

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Live review from Underground 116:

1. Shall we Chat
2. Roll a joint
3. Get laid
4. My Girlfriend stands behind
5. Be a fool
6. Cruising
7. Love is Blind

An alternative rock band with a brass section and a harmonica? Now I was really interested to see how rock they were. The Fat Jokers didn’t waste any time getting into their first song which started with a bang. They got the crowd’s attention with their song, “Shall we Chat”. Conversations stopped and people could only sip their beer as they were too enthralled by what was going on, on stage. The music was fantastic, not quite rock. Actually this first song was quite funky, but the only thing that seemed out of place was Adam’s vocals. Maybe I am being picky and I have something against a local accent singing in English, for me and many others it was abit of a drawback. But then, out of the blue, Adam draws out his weapon of choice. A megaphone. It added a new dimension to the song and I began to like the song even more. He only used the megaphone in this song if I remember rightly. It was hard to see, the place was packed!

The Fat Jokers encouraged us to “Roll a joint” in their next song. I had no idea of the song title at the time, but as I think back to this song it fits. This song felt more rock than the previous one and it had a really groovy bassline. The vocals sounded better in this song, but I still couldn’t stop thinking maybe he might want to a vocal processor because he sounded so good through the megaphone. By the end of the song there was a huge applause as they wrapped up the song with banging keys and horns.

In “Get Laid” the Fat Jokers give us that funky feeling again and putting us in the mood to dance. The guitar and bass in this song really stood out. There was even a harmonica solo in this song which really did it for me. It was the harmonica’s time to shine, yeah baby! The crowd applauded generously again. But, you could tell that their previous song was the current crowd favourite.

My Girlfriend stands behind” sounded quite familiar, or is it that I am so picky that I am trying to find a reference point. Anyway, I couldn’t work out what song it sounded like. Then it hit me. It had elements of the famous Cee Lo Green song where he curses lots. You know the song. The lyrics and the vocals melody were totally different, but the backing instrumentals for the verse sounded exactly the same for me. By this time I had a few more Jack Daniels Colas. Thanks Chris! The chorus took a different form and strayed away from the similarities of the verse to the Cee Lo Green song. Did I mention there was a really nice guitar solo in this song. Nope. Well, I did now.

Were the guys tiring because the next song started with what sounded to me like a slightly out of tune guitar, but maybe that was the effect they were going for? It just didn’t sound right at the start and was really slow and soft compared to their previous songs. “Be a Fool” was more like a ballad where we could actually hear what Adam was singing now. I almost wanted to sing along.

Cruising” started with yet another groovy bass line and was quickly followed by Adam’s strumming guitar. It sounded good. The brass section really shone in this song as we reached the chorus singing, ‘We like cruising!’ I loved when the two horns took charge of this song and dominated it with their solo. They really made the song. In my notes I wrote that they vocals sounded like someone from an 80s TV show, but I have no idea what I was thinking about at the time. Was it a random comment someone said about the vocals that I had to write down. I don’t know. But it was there. Thanks Jack!

Love is Blind” and so will I be if the night keeps rocking as well as it was. The Fat Jokers last song relied heavily on its keyboard section which followed a simple rhythmic pattern more akin to country music fused with pop. Similar to those EDM songs that have that country influence which are circulating the airwaves these days. There were backing vocals in this song which were so good that I was wondering why he didn’t include them in the beginning. There was a good repoire between the two singers that produced a beautiful harmony. “Love is blind. I want to stay by your side.” What a great way to finish the set. Fat Jokers had been amazing and they are definitely a band I would like to see again.

– Cain McInerney

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Performances by The Fat Jokers: