Local: Northern Monkey Brass Band
July is a big month for brass, of course, what with the fabulous International Brass Festival taking place in Durham, so this seems to be a good a time as any to swivel our spotlight in the direction of Northern Monkey Brass Band, a band who, as their name rather hints at, have a significant amount of brass in their line-up to call upon. And if you’re after a drop of the good stuff, then these northern monkeys have got all of the juice that you’re ever going to need, eschewing the elegiac sound of traditional British brass colliery bands, opting instead for the up-and-at-‘em party tunes redolent of New Orleans type bands. Inspired by the likes of Rebirth Brass Band, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Youngblood Brass Band etc, their new CD, High On Life, is a real rabble rouser of a release featuring six tracks of pure brassy thrills. They even manage to jazz up the Imperial Cantina (music which will be familiar to any fan of Star Wars) and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies. The band are launching the CD at Hoochie Coochie in Newcastle on Sunday 6 July (5pm, £4) and they will also, naturally, be playing the Brass Festival on 18 July at the Gala Theatre in Durham. You’d be a gibbon to miss them.