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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boys of Brass @ Tyne Bank Brewery - March 23

Ben Thornley (vocals, guitar); Robert McBurnie (trumpet); Steven Symonds (trumpet); Chris Bentham (trombone); John Philip Rudkin (mellophonium); Phil Rosier (tuba); Ian Wynd (drums)
(Review by Russell) 

Tyne Bank Brewery's self-proclamation that its Walker Road brewery and tap room is 'nowt special' is slightly tongue in cheek. An old industrial building not far from the Tyne has been transformed from a state of slow decline into a thriving micro pub with gleaming new brewing plant attached (see photo). Music is an integral part of the business and on a mild, late March Saturday evening the Boys of Brass were in town.

Q3, ETA 7:15, A-OK. Yes, the Quaylink bus from the city centre stops, rather conveniently, right outside the Tyne Bank's spacious HQ. Up a flight of steps, through the door and...it was busy, busy, busy. Side-stepping a friendly table tennis match (its that kind of hip place), looking for a seat (some occupied by canines and their well-behaved owners), a trip to the bar (Silver Dollar the choice), the Boys of Brass would soon be pumping-up the volume.



Daft Punk's Get Lucky, Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up (a tune made for brass players, if ever there was one) to Mr Pitiful (frontman Ben Thornley as Otis Redding, a bit of a stretch, but hey...), the brass boys were slowly but surely tempting the crowd onto the industrial concrete dance floor. The beer was flowing as a steady flow of glad rags stepped out of their Saturday night taxis straight onto the dance floor. 

The Boys of Brass' rhythm section worked overtime - Phil Rosier pumping and slurping all night long, drummer Ian Wynd snapping the snare with laser-like precision - flanked left by mellophonium (John Philip Rudkin) and trombone (Chris Bentham), and right by a trumpet one-two (Robert McBurnie and Steven Symonds). Stuck in the middle, Ben Thornley, singing...Stuck in the Middle with You (Stealers Wheel)!

As the dance floor filled the thought of heading into town to catch the second set at Billy Bootleggers came to mind. Q3, ETA 9:30...decisions, decisions. Thinking time was required - another trip to the bar, a change of brew, a pint of Equilibrium. The Real Thing's You to Me are Everything encouraged more booties to be shaken in front of the band, the Q3 was a-comin'. More booties shook as they demanded Play that Funky Music. Quick, Q3, Newcastle' no.1 American dive bar here we come!

Minutes later, descending the stairs on Nelson Street two things became apparent - the joint was jumpin', busier than ever, and...it wasn't the Bullfrog Blues Band it was some other (equally fine) band. Your correspondent's gig-list-in-the-head had, for once, failed him. D'oh! It was to be an early night.  

Russell.

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