David Fisher is a senior reporter for the NZ Herald.

Fat Freddy's global profile grows

Fat Freddy's Drop have earned good reviews worldwide. Photo / Kerry Brown
Fat Freddy's Drop have earned good reviews worldwide. Photo / Kerry Brown

They've been live at the Roundhouse.

And now Kiwi collective Fat Freddy's Drop has won a spot at one of the biggest music festivals in the United States.

The band is only the second New Zealand band - after Crowded House - to be lined up for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The Californian event is a highlight of the US indie music calendar and draws more than 200,000 people over three days.

It comes as figures show Fat Freddy's has sold more of its second album abroad than it has at home - and as the band prepares to play a Kiwi summer tour to some of its smallest audiences this year.

The seven-man band has just returned from touring overseas, taking its blend of reggae, dub, soul and R&B to audiences in the US, Europe and Australia.

Along the way, it has earned huge reviews and sell-out crowds. Influential online site Huffington Post wrote: "They have a word for god in New Zealand: Fat Freddy's Drop."

Over summer, it is swapping large crowds for beaches on "The Road To Opononi" tour before recording a new album in the New Year.

Saxophonist Scott "Chopper Reedz" Towers said the invitation to play at the Coachella festival was huge news. "Crowded House has been the only other New Zealand band invited to play."

Fat Freddy's biggest audience this year was about 15,000 people in Paris - compared with a possible 1000 at the venues hosting the summer tour.

Towers said when the band were talking about summer plans, one member said: "There's no point in rocking Paris if you can't rock your own backyard."

Sales figures show Dr Boondigga & The Big BW has sold more than 60,000 albums overseas - and 39,000 in New Zealand. First album Based on a True Story has sold more than 130,000 albums here. It has not been released overseas.

- Herald on Sunday

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