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The Hackney Colliery Band – Money review

Hackney has many things, but a colliery brass band has been sorely lacking… until now that is. Brought together by an appreciation of New Orleans marching bands, Balkan brass and other funky things, this ten-piece have dazzled on stages since 2008, and individually played with Jarvis Cocker, The Bollywood Brass Band and jazz outfit Porpoise Corpus. Along with two percussionists, they count among their number a flugel horn, a superbone (no sniggering at the
back) and a sousaphone (making it possibly the second coolest use of such an instrument after The Roots’ own sousaphone, played by the brilliantly nicknamed “Tuba Gooding Jr”).

This is their first single on venerable funk label Wah Wah 45’s and it’s a great cut for anyone with a love of brass or just a love of unexpected covers of pop songs. “Money” is a perfectly parping version of Kelis and Old Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money”, with that deliciously funky bassline transferred to the bassy parts of the band. They even kick it off with an intro vamp around Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out” for maximum crowd-pleasing/head-scratching fun, and drop back into it again like a DJ juggling between two records. The full force of all that brass is a pleasure to hear and explains why they’re currently such a sought after live outfit.

On the flipside is an HCB original called “What’s The Time Mister Wasp?” which grooves along at a slower tempo and has a great soundtrack quality to it, akin to Quincy Jones or David Shire, and comes complete with some soaring solos. This is an excellent pair of songs and hopefully the start of many such singles from the HCB. Oliver Keens