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Saturday, July 08, 2017

The Northern Monkey Brass Band @ The Cumberland Arms - July 7













(Review by Russell)
The Cumberland Arms, built c1860, hasn’t had a lick of paint since…c1860. Fridays on the Terrace is something of an institution. If it’s summer (occasionally it is!) the hostelry’s patrons sit outside on the terrace, a terrace overlooking the lower Ouseburn’s post-industrial landscape. Folk like it here – don’t tell anyone otherwise any old Tom, Dick or Monkey will turn up.
 This particular Friday a cartload* of monkeys assembled to the side of the imbibers. This barrel* of monkeys was remarkably quiet…perhaps they had eaten one banana too many. They appeared to be attracted to, indeed fascinated with, gleaming, shining pieces of brass. At around six thirty – aka Northern Monkey Brass Band time – our troop* of tree dwellers piped up. Blowing bold as, Graham Hardy, Chief Monkey, appeared left field, meanwhile down below in a field (literally), Top C, Alistair Lord unleashed a volley on the unsuspecting imbibers. On cue, David Gray pumped up the volume standing on the roof of the Cumberland Arms. David! David! Come down now, before you fall down you silly boy! From all points, monkeys converged upon the Cumberland’s patrons. Surrounded, the Friday night crowd succumbed to the Northern Monkey Brass Band’s infectious brand of N’Awlins’ jazz.

 
Star Wars’ Imperial Cantina to a Jackson Five number, perhaps a Beyoncé hit, Stevie Wonder, you never know quite what the NMBB will throw at you. Two cheeky monkeys – Brendan Murphy hitting a bass drum and Adam Sinclair snare – set up, and maintained, a funky pie groove for the duration of the one-hour performance. Restless, the NMBB go walkabout. Pied Piper-like the brass brothers get in amongst the crowd. Cameras flash, many present flash a big grin such is the ‘good time’ feel engendered by Hardy & co. Beer, a piece of funky pie, and to close, Monkey’s Blood. More! More! Encore won. Job done. If you’re in Manchester on July 29 (the Manchester Jazz Festival) get along to hear Graham Hardy’s Northern Monkey Brass Band at the Hobgoblin Festival Square stage. The band will play three sets, the first starting at two o’clock.
Russell.

* collective noun for a (Northern) monkey. Others include ‘tribe’ and ‘wilderness’.         
Graham Hardy (trumpet), Alistair Lord (trumpet), Jamie Toms (tenor saxophone), David Gray (trombone), Jason Holcomb (trombone), Phil Rosier (tuba), Adam Sinclair (snare drum) & Brendan Murphy (bass drum)    

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