Cooley High: Reviews etc...

I say reviews etc... because at the minute, this is more of a 'odd sentence that people have said about Cooley High' page. But in time...

Water Rats Gig March 2001

Keepin' it in the Family
- April 4, 2001 - 5:04 PM, Text: Simon R
Within seconds of punching Mateo DiFontaine’s cell phone number into my keypad, I’m welcomed by the funky sounds of hip-hop happy scratches and phat freddy basslines jangling my receiver box. I know I’m through.
Mateo’s voice is the second sound I hear. His confidently chilled vernacular eases me in and introduces me to what sounds like the annexe to a mad all-night party in a tour bus. Do these boys ever stop? Even between tour stops these guys raise rock n’ roll hell. Let me explain quickly, Mr. DiFontaine happens to be the DJ for the shit-hot, ultra cool funk rockers the Fun Lovin’ Criminals. He puts in a regular appearance not only as a warm up for the Crims, spinnin’ reggae and hip-hop tunes for the awaiting audience, but also as an actor of Oscar-like calibre in "Huey’s acting school", during the band’s live set. Most importantly though, the four FLC London dates in the insalubrious surroundings of Hackney’s Ocean saw Mateo showcasing his new band, Cooley High for the first time in the UK. And how privileged the British audience were. “Over here, bro, you’re all a lot more open to music. You’re not as spoon fed as the people in the States” muses Mateo.
Fronted by a towering, colourfully clothed figure known only as ‘King’ – akin in looks to WC Fields… …with an edge, the band are a genre bending mix of… well everything really. Let’s see, we’ve got hip-hop, blues, rock n’ roll, funk and a little bit of soul thrown in for good measure. Imagine Neil Young with a fat ass J hanging from his cake hole, spinning the decks with one hand and strumming away with the other, all the time growling in his soulful way to the audience – that’s Cooley High.
On the last night the FLC ‘family’ were in London, Cooley were headliners at The Water Rats, deep in the heart of that other Bronx-like bastion of decay and degradation, King’s Cross. With an audience cross-section that included Hell’s Angels (The London Contingent), indie kids and gorgeous girlies (did I spot Cat Deeley amongst the hordes?) the band sent a funky shockwave through the ribcages of an audience of eager punters. “We’re concerned with playing good music. I just wanna keep playing shows and running the band. King bosses us and I run the show!! We’ve now got some little labels interested in us and once the little fish start nibblin’ the bigger fish come up behind them.”
As yet unsigned, Cooley High have been lucky enough to have provided support for the Fun Lovin’ Criminals which means that they had the chance to play to an audience nearing 10,000 stretched over several nights. “The band formed as a result of me being left to my own devices looking after the FLC’s studio! King and I hooked up and wrote about 15 songs together. We’re like a big family – Cooley High, Huey, Fast, Mackie and the rest of the crew. We’ve had a ball touring with them and we hope to come back in the summer. We’re trying to get on the second stage at one of the festivals but I can’t say which one yet.”
So if summer seems a long way off to you and you can’t wait to sample the sounds of Cooley High, you’ll be able to buy their debut 4 song E.P. on the net. On which website, you cry!? The Fun Lovin’ Criminals site of course. Glad to see they’re keepin’ it in the family.
So what have you got so far then?
These comments about their music and live perfomances:

'dirty, smooth and funky and hot hot hot'

'King on vocals...looked like a Pimp but sounded like Sly Stone'

'the guitarist rocked - and did I hear them say he'd had just one rehearsal? They were all cute too. Matteo's a babe. More cute guys for us laydeez to lust after...'

'fab chilled stuff, hard to describe as was drunk at the time...'

'Cooley High were exceptionally good'

'Get down and get funky.'

'Really good live'

'Anyone else at the Cooley High gig last night at the Water Rats with Huey and Fast DJ-ing before and after their INCREDIBLE performance? Mateo was loving it and lickin’ his fingers as he transferred from keyboards to decks to bass to vocals - what a talent. The singer is from the Huey school of cool. The drummer is solid stuff and Mr. G the guitarist rocked everybody’s world. The band were even more rockin’ than any of the Ocean gigs. Mackie was up front checkin’ them out. Let’s hope we see them back again soon WITH the criminals preferably but we'll take em anyway they come. Has anyone found out anything about them yet. We need numbers/addresses/emails whatever it takes to bring them back.'

And about the guys themselves...?

*I'd like to point out at this stage, as with PFLC, CHO does not and will not engage in speculation about the private lives of group members in particular typical tabloid love-life rumour-mongering. As as I say about FLC, they are a BAND, not male escorts or rent boys! (However, as with PFLC, any dalliances with characters from Rainbow are exempt from this, and I assure you I will post anything I hear concerning Geoffrey, George, Bungle or Zippy and a member of CH.) I wanted to get that in before it all kicked off, just so y'all know.*


'Oh hell. I'm in love with Cooley High, they're so funny.'
'Oooh mr g soooo not bad.'
'Is that a dressing gown?' [re: King on Water Rats pics]
'Is that Taylor Hawkins? [Ritchie]' (ME: Who? 'Him out of Foo Fighters' ME: No...Which one out of Foo Fighters? 'The drummer!' ME: It's still NOT him!)
'They are cool. Strange but very cool.'


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