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A Magazine for Sheffield


Although the recent surge of brass bands experimenting with the genre has yielded mighty results in the fair soils of England, New Orleans always had the upper hand.

There’s always been something spiritual related to New Orleans’ endemic brass scene. The correlation of jazz bands playing funerals gives you a good hint of the intrinsic nature of the sounds you find in any Hot 8 Brass Band song and a spiritual sense. I don’t mean that the songs of Vicennial are séance material, but the vivacious nature of the tracks seems to be carrying something otherworldly with them. Taking into account that some of the members have met untimely deaths due to violence, this resonates harder than any sousaphone.

Vicennial fears neither death nor crime. It takes some well-known classics and turns them around for a good night of Hurricane cocktails and po’boy sandwiches. These fresh takes are mixed proportionally with Hot 8 Brass Band’s original material, which is possibly even better than their best-known cover, ‘Sexual Healing’. The sheer range of genres the band has siphoned from, ranging from The Temptations to Snoop Dogg, speaks of their adaptability and acumen for a track with a great hook.

If you’ve never heard Hot 8 Brass Band, Vicennial should be your starting point. Follow this with Spike Lee’s When The Levee Broke and you’ll get a whiff of why this band deserves your attention.

Samuel Valdés López