Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Dingwalls, Camden – Wed 21/10/09
This comes from Jon Blackburn, one of our guys from the accounts department, who proves that not all accountants are squares. The fact that he has taken the time to write this review is a testament to how good the band are, as Jon doesn’t really like any music that’s been written since the ’70s, despite not having been born until the ’80s.
10PM could seem like a late start for a Wednesday night but when the eight all-playing, all-rapping, all-dancing brothers complete with drummer hit the first chord it is well worth the wait.
The sound is huge, mixing up a variety of flavours while still keeping that layered ‘badass’ sound that only they seem to pull off by making their own blend of jazz, funk and hip-hop that can only be described as Hypnotic. The first four numbers were straight album cuts followed by something extra being added to each song thereafter. When any of the brothers steps forward to take to the microphone and rap, aided by a little call and response from the crowd (“Who gets the party started?”… “You get the party started!”…) everyone feels involved in something special. For me the best part of the night is when the band goes into overdrive with a driving rhythm and catchy melodies sounding like every ‘70s car chase film you ever saw.
It wasn’t as good as their 100 Club gig as it was only one hour long but you’ll be hard pushed to find a better night of music you can actually dance to in London. It’s also so refreshing to see and hear people who are what I would call ‘the real deal’. This band has it all and thank God as far as I’m concerned that the rapping is secondary to the playing and, yes, these gentlemen can play!