As part of their On The Spot tour, the Hot 8 Brass Band were at the Roundhouse on Tuesday night showcasing their new album. Famed for their renditions of ‘Sexual Healing’ and ‘Ghost Town’, we were in for a night of Mardi Gras madness from the New Orleans outfit.
The show started with a DJ set from their support act, the legendary Mancunian, Mr Scruff. This was an unexpected but suitable choice to kick things off - Scruff’s tunes were lively enough to build some momentum and horn-heavy enough to keep the interest of the crowd, who filled up the venue throughout his set - always a good sign. Mr Scruff’s animations (which he does himself, very cool) were shown on the screen behind him.
The H8BB started with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s That Girl, which blended gloriously into Papa Was A Rolling Stone. They were in full party mode: nothing about this performance was polished or restrained, everything down to the way that they chatted to the audience felt spontaneous and unrehearsed. The arrangements, incorporating crazy high trumpet riffs and rumbling bass lines on the naughty sousaphone, are witty interpretations, full of the band's character. Other highlights of their set were variations on the classic 'Chameleon' and Snoop Dogg's 'What's My Name'.
If you haven’t been there, the Roundhouse is a state o’ the art venue, with friendly staff and a nice smoking area - thumbs up from us. We were also really pleased with the size - big enough for plenty of people, but not so big that you couldn’t see from the back. We welcome these short-people-friendly venues with open arms.
The Hot 8 Brass Band, who have endured hurricanes, death and trauma, know how to make truly liberating, uplifting and foot-stomping music. If you haven’t seen them yet, GO! Catch them this summer at the Cheltenham Jazz festival, The Soundcrash Funk n Soul Weekender, and bunch of other UK dates throughout April and may. They’re also playing at the Tru-Thoughts birthday party at the Roundhouse again in October, alongside a cracking line-up!