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Saturday 14 May 2016


Being a proud resident of Tower Hamlets for the last twenty years or so, I have a tendency to look down on all things Hackney. Even our hipsters are more exotically bewhiskered than theirs. So when I was invited to see an outfit called the Hackney Colliery Band at our very own Wilton's Music Hall I was a bit sniffy.

I am graciously willing to concede that I was wrong. Until the Tower Hamlets Timpani Orchestra gets into its stride, they have bettered us.

The Colliery Band is a nine piece ensemble - two on percussion, seven on brass - and they put on a bloody good show. I began to warm to them when the man with a sousaphone arrived on stage - you don't see enough sousaphones, certainly not being used as part of a tight rhythm section - and things kept getting warmer after that. A funky, friendly 90 minutes followed.

Regular readers will know I'm useless at describing music. But if I tell you that my favourite of their original numbers - "The Morning" - had a bit of a Hugh Masekela vibe that hopefully gives you the general idea. An even better idea would be to go to their website, watch some of the clips and check the dates for their UK tour that starts next week. If they are playing anywhere near you I would encourage you to go along.

But first, here are some more brass-tastic tunes for you to enjoy.

"MRA" - Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath

"Fat Mama" - Tito Chicoma Y Su Orquesta

"You In Your Small Corner" - If

"Movin'" - Brass Construction

A brass band last night. Eurovision tonight. What clip could possibly combine the two?


  1. bizzarrely enough, the cat is entranced by the hackney colliery band. Honestly!

  2. Terrible. Hang your head in shame.