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The Brothers Band at the Town House

Review

It isn't particularly unusual of me to review acts playing at the Town House in Leamington: Jonny Roden often puts on top acts (looking forward to Doc Brown again in a fortnight's time) and he was telling me last night of some interesting plans he has in mind for future gigs.

What is unusual is to find myself in the company of the artists I had reviewed the previous evening (see below in the magazine): Taylor-Louise & Naomi-Beth who were celebrating their triumph at the Magic Lantern & like me watching the Brothers Band. Thus please do read into my comments below input from their experience & perspectives: it was good to be able to discuss the artists I was watching with such talented & knowledgeable people.

 

I had previously seen them play as the ‘3 Brothers Band' (and greatly enjoyed them) but as they have slimmed down to two brothers (austerity measures?), the name has necessarily evolved: look out for them however under both titles for the immediate future as contractual obligations mean that some upcoming gigs are under the old banner.

 

Necessarily, given the nature of the gig, the set was weighted towards cover versions, all of which they attacked with verve, passion & a joy in performance. A key moment for me was their version of "Redemption Song": a number (perhaps understandably) normally played with great reverence towards its composer, but which they performed with unusual energy & anger almost, reviving the meaning of the lyrics & restoring it as the protest song Bob Marley wrote it as. I turned to voice my feelings to my companions & I'm pleased to say they agreed.

Many numbers will be familiar to most music lovers: they were after all setting out to give the clientele a good night out (there was dancing!) but as I say, the delight in playing was evident & as the night wore on, more unusual numbers crept in to the great credit of the band: anyone who goes for the Who's "A Quick One, While He's Away" or the Kinks' "Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues" is alright in my books.

 

It was quite something how so much power & energy (not mention capacity to play the songs at all) came from just two performers : Tyron Hansel (lead vocals and on many numbers, acoustic bass) and Rikki Hansel (guitar, harmonica, vocals). Thankfully both are excellent players (I enjoyed the songs which featured long instrumental passages) and very dynamic singers. As they are left handed & right handed respectively, we had an interesting discussion about the aesthetics of the instruments pointing in opposite directions (cf the Beatles of course) They are also very good at audience interaction & certainly put on a great show.

What really interested me however was the inclusion of a few original songs: mostly bluesy in style, very much reminiscent in tone with the sort of blues rock popular around the turn of the 60s/70s, the era from which much of their covers repertoire is drawn. I should very much like to catch a full originals set (I gather they expand to a four piece for such gigs)

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