Hot 8 Brass Band

Hot 8 Brass Band sell out The Tanks

Having entered The Tanks Arts Centre past an upset crowd of punters who had missed out on tickets, I was admittedly surprised that a relatively unknown act in this country had sold out Cairns premier venue.

With local favourites The Montgomery Brothers warming up the crowd nicely, nearly everybody I talked to before the main act wasn’t quite sure what they were in for. Most had made the obvious assumptions that we we’re in for some Brass, see 8 members on stage and see a ‘Hot’ performance.

All predictions and more proving to be very correct!

The band walked on stage with an immediate air of confidence, horns and drums in hands, sunglasses on. Their sheer aura exciting the crowd before the first note was blown. Within seconds of their opening song, the band had the audience’s hands up and the crowd moving. Players we’re given opportunities to shine early with all horn players taking solos while re-joining for syncopated melody lines.

Their marching band line up consisting of Sousaphone, Bass Drum, Snare Drums, Trumpets, Trombones and Saxophone. With members also alternating between hip hop raps and percussion.

With their catchy rhymes and regular encouragement of crowd participation, The Hot 8 Brass Band had The Tanks in the palm of their hands in no time. The upbeat tempo keeping the audience dancing and singing to mash ups of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Sexual Healing’ and Snoop Dogg’s ‘Who I Am’.

With band leader Bennie Pete holding it down on the Sousaphone, we were also treated to Coltrane like solos from Saxophonist Wendall Stewart and powerful 5 part horn bursts from the frontline.

Even local Cairns musicians Emmaline Anderson and Julia Fujita where invited on stage to dance to the Bossa Nova beats from the ultra tight drum section.

With The Hot 8 Brass Band giving Cairns a taste of the French Quarter of New Orleans, it was truly a performance that will convince many to visit the musically renowned US city in the future.

Mitch Sullivan

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