Lets Dance! The crowd of cool gathered at Hi Fi tonight seem relieved that something cool is now happening. The Bowie cover injects instant likeability, and it’s this quick-hitting, pick up and go idea that was surely why Silver Hips were so keen to book Brassroots.
The band strides through well known tracks with a welcome, but not totally original style. I suppose Mark Ronson and El Micheals’ Affair etc have walked this path before but here tonight the crowd seems happy just to unplug from the technology for a while and feel something in their chest. The sax brings new expression to worn melodies, I’m reminded of a brass band at a football match at times-with no vocalist the early part of the show is a little ‘sing-a-long’ for my taste.
After Crazy In Love and Seven Nation Army are out the way, the group show some technical range with more compelling versions of Karma Police, and Liberian Girl. Unleashing much more energy on breakdowns, almost punishing us for our complacency. They manage to indulge cinematic fantasies too with Misrilou from the Pulp Fiction OST. The more traditional New Orleans Roots tracks are just as well received- it seems the crux of the spirit is welcomed by the remix-aware audience; in spite of all the Live Lounges Covers of the world they still seek some authenticity.
The band does incredibly well to keep us on our toes. With posters of other such acts adorning most of the wall space en route to the toilets its fair to say that they wish to stay competitive. The crowning moment for me was towards the end. A slip into a familiar bass rhythm, here with the trombone, unfolds as electro classic Good Life followed encouragingly by Sweet Dreams by Eurhythmics. The Reeboks stomp the dance floor and some 90’s hats, and memories are lost in the affray.
Special mention has to go to the drummer. For not only keeping together his cool Blues Brothers persona, but for generally keeping the band together- without him their path gets dangerously close to being an over-extended brass breakdown. Saying that, it seemed harder to find fault than to let go and enjoy myself, which is I suppose the real quality of this band. Their musical talent deserves and earns respect, but the consideration they have for their audience in terms of song selection and emphasis on fun does something much more important; both band and audience have a great night.
Credit to Silver Hips for their choice in booking- we will hopefully see more of their impeccable taste presented shortly in the future at Hi-Fi.