Hornman – review

You know when you’ve been tangoed

Remember the ad? The feature they had in common was the dazed, confused but smiling faces of the victim.

Watching Hornman at 60 million postcards was a similar experience, confusing but ultimately refreshing.

They arrive on stage looking the very antithesis of the three guitars and a drummer band that is so frequent. They bring brass, drums, hats and horns and there's a distinct whiff of different about.

If you see a lot of bands then the phrase 'so what' pops up quite a lot. So you can play a guitar, so you broke up with your girl. Unless you're Eric Clapton then so what?.

With Hornman there's no chance of that.

Brass is big in Hornman land with the strident sax of Carl Davies and Trombone of Wayne Maslin leading the charge to happyland.

So it's kind of jazz funk right? Listening to the opening bars of Swansea their debut single would lead one to think so but wait, there's electro there, and Welsh phrasing (isn't it?) and yoda. Yes Yoda from star wars.

 Hornman grab hold of the evening by the throat and simultaneously tickle its balls.

Aoife Heggarty works hard as a backing and occasional lead vox and although her delicate voice is somewhat overshadowed by the power and sheer variety of what's going on, she provides another wheelbarrow load of energy and interest for the band.

The playful streak returns in 'Winston Churchill', another track from their EP. More electro but still with the earthy vox that signifies the Hornman sound.

Too soon the set is over and there are smiles aplenty from the large crowd. Did they dance? Yes they did.

My overall impression of Hornman was of a great live band, fun, energetic and sometimes surprising they go for music with a smile on its face and a glint in the eye.

If you get a chance to see them then you really should. Wear light clothing as it may get hot.

Did I mention they had a deer horn on stage? Well they did.

You can find Hornman;

On their own site http://www.hornman.co.uk/

On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hornmanmusic

On Youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/HornmanMusicVideo


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Definitions don't come easy here. You think you've nailed the ska based brass line and world music drums turn up, grab a hold of a catchy riff and it all stops for a phone call with Carl's nan. Like I say defining Hornman isn't easy.

What we can say is that Hornman turn up with a big ball of energy ready to slap you round the face and force even the most British accountant to tap their feet in time with the catchy dance tune that the band have punched out.

In 'Swansea' we have a brass kick off that speaks of Havana and Rico Rodriguez with an underlying rhythm that says 'dance fool'. Providing fulsome earworm material their first single is a pretty cool track and perfect summer festival fare.

More traditional is 'Down to the ground' in the vein of a less jazzy Cool Hipnoise or less rocky Santana it's smooth with a dance beat to drink and jive to.

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