Spirit Store = Music, Comedy, Gigs, Venue, Bar, Drink...
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Stomptown Brass have come of age in 2016. With the release
of their debut EP, a hugely popular Irish tour, and a
headline show at The Sugar Club, which sold-out days in
advance, the 10-piece urban street-funk band have outgrown
their superficial image as merely a fun festival act,
and revealed musical ambitions far loftier in scope.
With Locomotive (EP) Stomptown Brass capture the natural
energy of their raucous live performances, while simultaneously
doing justice to the rhythmic complexity and precision
of their compositions. Critics heaped on the praise: "Locomotive
is concerned with the essence of sound, the incommunicable
feeling that music can give us when the right notes are
played at the right time, and all the harmonics gather
into one whole being...throughout Locomotive you can feel
the energy and power that Stomptown Brass hold over their
music...Locomotive is a boisterous carnival of music that
comes across fully on record" (The Last Mixed Tape).
Stomptown Brass, two years old now, began when a group
of like-minded brass players, known to each other from
crossing paths with the likes of Trinity Orchestra, Hozier,
The Riptide Movement, Kormac's Big Band, Tandem Felix,
Attention Bebe, among others, decided they wanted to do
something different: find a way of merging the direct
energy of street-performing New Orleans brass bands with
the subtle complexity of contemporary compositional arrangements.
The intention to break down the formal barrier between
audience and performer means Stomptown Brass use a split
kit (separate snare and bass drummers) so they can bring
music right to the streets, not limited by the need to
plug in. This has led to impromptu street parties all
over Ireland - including a traffic-stopping march down
South Richmond St. after Canalaphonic. Stomptown Brass
can turn a post-work drink on a sunny evening along the
canal into a New Orleans Mardi Gras festival.
The brain-child of composer and arranger James O'Leary
(who taught himself the trombone for the express purpose
of starting a street-funk brass band) the band has an
almost-exclusive focus on original material. The songs
draw on the rich tradition of funk and blues, creating
a universally accessible, funky, up-beat kind of music,
but with layers of rhythmic and dynamic complexity.