Fitz and The Tantrums at Dingwalls
With two released records to date, Fitz and The Tantrums are an indie-pop band from LA, with a particular emphasis toward soul music. The band are inspired by the Motown era, the soul voices of the black divas of the 60s and and by the bands of the 70s (Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Miracles, and so on). Thankfully, their music is not a mere copy of the glorious past of the soul and R&B era, but a clever mix with a more contemporary sounds. Their latest album More Than Just a Dream was produced by Tony Hoffen (M83, Depeche Mode and Phoenix), their music is a nice pastiche of soulful indie pop. Michael Fitzpatrick said in a recent interview that even though their biggest influences are Stax and Motown, the aim of the band is not to replicate that sound but to use it as an inspiration.
If on record the band tend to keep these ideas well clear in mind, live, they put more emphasis in the soulful elements of their music, offering a performance rich in groove and rhythm. Their live show is a kaleidoscopic mix of vitality and fun: a jazzy sax, a clarinet/hammond/keyboard, a groovy bass, a straight drummer and two voices – Fitzpatrick himself and the stunning singer Noelle Scaggs.
The gig starts with an explosion of colourful sound with the catchy Get Away, followed by the single Don’t Gotta Work It Out – a real tribute to Steve Wonder. Break the Walls sounds like an M83 b-side, while Breaking the Chain of Love is pure Northern Soul. Sadly, the central part of the show is the weakest of the whole evening, especially during the performance of Sparks, a terrible version of Sweet Dreams (why?), House on Fire and Fools Gold, where the music became too epic and too 80s, loosing its catchy allure. Finally, the band changes the gear again in the last part of the concert, when the soulful sound is back, and during their two encores, MoneyGrabber and The Walker, where the audience are happily entertained and enjoy several sing-alongs.
Fitz and The Tantrums are a great live act, that’s a given, if only they could release a great studio album, they could be the best at what they do. Until then, we are enjoying their entertaining live performances.
Photos: Adam Bennett
For further information and future events visit Fitz and The Tantrums’ website here.
Watch the video for The Walker here: