LIVE REVIEW: Hypnotic Brass Ensemble @ Cluny 2 (25.8.17) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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The way I see it, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble are to jazz what the Wayans siblings are to comedy. And, no, it’s not simply because these eight blood-related bandmates have the prerequisite numbers to warrant such a comparison.

For starters, their bombastically funky set is punctuated by enough flashes of humour to suggest that the ridiculously talented Chicagoans are funny as all hell. It also doesn’t hurt that each brother happens to possess a versatile range of performative physicality.

There’s a well-honed precision to their airtight synchronicity which speaks volumes of the sheer amount of time-dedication they’ve put into their craft. Although this assiduity underscores each fête-worthy groove they unleash, it’s particularly palpable in the soulful yet bellicose bounce of their scorching roof-raiser War, which – NERDY POP CULTURE FACT ALERT! – featured in The Hunger Games (as TV host Caesar Flickerman’s bangin’ theme tune).

Given the band’s contagious ‘we’re-all-here-to-get-down’ vibe – which, admittedly, infects yours truly with a serious case of boogie fever – it comes as no surprise that, by the time Party Started’s unrelenting horn-driven bop kicks in, all inhibitions go out the window, and the crowd descends into a sweat-soaked frenzy of raucous gyration.

As I bask in their brassy heat, it’s not hard to see why – just like the homie Gabriel told us from the jump – everywhere they go, these cats get the party started.

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