“Over here it means a woman of loose morals,” he said. “But if you play the song in New York, they think you’re singing about pigeons.”
So said Huey Morgan while introducing Dirty Bird – one of the many jazz-soaked jams performed by the Fun Lovin’ Criminals’ frontman and his band of pals at the East Wintergarden on Monday, November 9.
This was not your usual Fun Lovin Criminals set – the band who snapped, crackled and popped their way into the public consciousness with hits such as Scooby Snacks, Big Night Out and Loco back in the late 90s.
Also online: Our three favourite Huey Morgan moments
Huey was in laid-back, raconteur mode – warm laughter and foot-tapping complemented each other during the evening, giving the audience a musicality all of its own.
Funk, country, pop and soul – this was a varied set in which the rhythm section played second fiddle to Huey’s guitar and Pete Levin’s keys. The two duelled to the point at which their instruments were interchangeable – it felt like a treat.
At times, Huey’s mix of soulful love songs and effortless crunching guitar solos were reminiscent of Purple Rain-era Prince, albeit a good vocal octave lower.
Huey made no secret of the fact he is not the hard-partying rapscallion he once was – a family man at 47, he spoke about the birth of his new daughter.
“When you have more than one kid, people say ‘that must be stressful’,” he said. “Going home and having three kids chasing you around? That’s not stressful.
“But having an animal chasing you that wants to eat you – I’d say that was pretty stressful.”
Despite his somewhat more tranquil lifestyle, there is still a spark of mischief in Huey’s eyes. There’s something about winking at the crowd mid-pinch harmonic that seems to sum up Huey Morgan more than words ever could.