Renegade Brass Band @ O2 Academy Sheffield
With brand new album Totems (read our review here) ready to drop, Sheffield’s favourite 12-piece funk/latin/jazz/hip-hop/rap/brass hybrid had an eager crowd of party people in the house ready for pleasing. Warmed up nicely following an energetic performance from fellow horn-blowers Hot Diamond Aces and some serious skills from world champ scratch artist DJ Woody (which sparked a mass B-boy dance-off in the middle of the crowd), it was now time for the main event.
“Sheff Town – this is how we do this!” the group’s MC, V3xation, hollers down the mic before launching into colossal album-opener ‘EAF’ with gusto. I’ve seen them live a couple of times before and, without fail, the wall of sound generated by RBB never fails to blow you away; it’s simply incredible musicianship all around. Before the audience had time to pick themselves back up, they’re soon hit by a second wave of horns and percussion in ‘The Sheikh’, V3x’s uptempo flow complemented by some epic bass lines rumbling out of the tuba. Other standout tracks included the scathing ‘Torches & Pitchforks’, the soaring vocals from guest Gina Walters on ‘Peloton’ and swaggering banger ‘Monte Carlo’, the latter of which had the crowd in raptures.
The encore was a foregone conclusion and they delivered, rounding off a joyous evening with their brilliant cover of DJ Kool’s ‘Let Me Clear My Throat’. Without doubt one of the finest live acts in the Steel City, it was another huge performance from a huge band.
PS: If you haven’t already, give the album a listen when you get a chance and, more to the point, make a date to catch them live while they’re touring. I doubt you’ll regret it.