GIVEN that Fun Lovin Criminals have been making music for 30 years, it’s heartening to hear the sheer enthusiasm in original member Brian ‘Fast’ Leiser’s voice when he’s talking about the band’s forthcoming slot at Lytham Festival.

“We just want to get out there and play,” he said. “We were very lucky that the UK was one of the first places that really caught on to what we were doing and went ‘this is a good thing’.

“To be able to come back 30 years later and to keep on doing it, that’s just great.

“And we’re very happy that the music hasn’t aged so that we don’t want to play any of the songs any more. If there are songs we haven’t played for a long time, they still sound great and they make things fresh.”

Bury Times: Lytham Festival

Mixing rap, beats, jazz and even blues, Fun Lovin Criminals were a product of New York City. The original line-up included frontman Huey Morgan who left the band in 2021.

Fellow founder member Fast has taken up vocal duties and shares songwriting with drummer Frank Benbini who joined the band in 2003.

“I always look forward to playing festivals,” said Frank, the band’s token Englishman. “We mash up the styles. We don’t just do on thing; we’re not a one trick pony.

“We like to play a bit of jazz and bit of hip hop, a bit of funk, rock and even reggae. At a festival you have all walks of life and all age groups; people that want to connect with all styles of music so as Fun Lovin Criminals we do have.”

The band will play the opening night of Lytham Festival on Wednesday, June 28 as part of a line-up that includes Stone Foundation, Jake Shears and headliners Jamiroquai.

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“What we’ll play at Lytham depends on the length of the set,” said Fast. “When there are other bands in the line-up, it’s generally the hits but we always like to throw in one or two surprises.”

Frank added: “We’d never be so arrogant as to refuse to play Scooby Snacks, we’re not that kind of band. We’ll definitely be playing the hits and a couple of curve balls as well.”

Fun Lovin Criminals will arrive at Lytham after a series of sold out dates across Europe.

“For a band that’s been going 30 years and is still selling out shows, there are not that many bands from the 90s you could possibly say that about,” said Frank. “We’re very grateful for that and to our fans.”

The band’s last album was 2010’s Classic Fantastic but the new line-up has been releasing new material.

The EP The Roosevelt Sessions was released earlier this year and a second EP, the Capistrano Sessions, is planned for later in the year.

I wasn’t sure about EPs at first,” said Fast, “as I’d always thought of us as being an album band. But the album seems to have officially died years ago so we’re moving on with how music is officially released. EPs are good for us as we can stick to a concrete concept if you will.

“The Roosevelt Sessions has that dark, smoky, back alley thing going on.”

Frank added: “The Roosevelt Sessions are a nod of a hat to people like Chet Baker but obviously we don’t want to scare our fans off by giving them an EP that’s pure jazz.

“We take little bits of ingredients from certain styles that we absolutely love and we always brand it with a kind of FLC sound. On this record it’s created that New York smoky club vibe.”

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Unlike many bands with long careers, Fun Lovin Criminals have avoided falling into the trap of becoming a heritage act.

“I was a fan of the band before I was a member of the band,” said Frank. “A lot of credit must go to the sound engineers on those early albums, play them today and they sound as though they were just recorded this week. The FLC sound does not date; a good song will always stand the test of time.”

With Huey Morgan having left the band, does Fast feel that his departure helped to re-energise Fun Lovin Criminals?

“We’ve been letting thing happen naturally and concentrating on the music,” said Fast. “We’re playing for people we haven’t been able to play for for many reasons over the past 10 years. Now we’re switching it up, it’s so much better.

“When Frank joined the band I was for the most part writing all the music and the beats and Huey would write the lyrics and put guitar solos on songs.

“Once Frank joined it was obvious he would be much more involved with musical composition and lyric writing than any of our previous drummers. It’s great that he’s a multi-instrumentalist and an amazing producer too.

“It means that Frank and I have an endless source of music and beats which we can delve into and put together the skeleton of a song and then add the meat and muscle on it.”

“A lot of bands mess things up by overcooking them” said Frank. “It’s very easy to tip the scale when you’re in the studio and go too far. I’m always one pulling it back, I don’t like anything too overproduced.We try to keep a raw element of FLC running throughout our music.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the band’s album 100% Columbian and a special tour is being planned for the end of the year.

“We’re going to tour and play the full album from start to finish,” said Fast. “Some people think the whole playing an album in its entirety thing is tacky but I think it’s dope.

“It’s a great album and it offers us a chance to pull out three or four songs we haven’t learned and be able to play. It’s something unique we can give our fans.”

Frank added: “The 90s were such a great time for music and FLC were the antidote to the Brit pop scene at the time. There is a special feeling when people can come out and see one of their favourite albums being played start to finish, I don’t think they find it tacky, they absolutely enjoy it.

“I think it makes for one of the best concerts if you’re a fan of the band.”

Fun Lovin Criminals play Lytham Festival on Wednesday, June 28. The festival line-up also includes George Ezra on Thursday, June 29, Sting with Blondie on Friday, June 30, Lionel Richie on Saturday, July 1 and Motley Crue and Def Leppard on Sunday, July 2. Details from