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Music profile: Deadbeat Brass

The 10 piece band has been bringing a taste of New Orleans to Huddersfield

Deadbeat Brass, new Huddersfield New Orleans and riot jazz inspired band

Their brass band has everyone jumping.

Huddersfield 10-piece Deadbeat Brass are part of the party-starting New Orleans brass and riot jazz genres, which have long been taking the USA by storm.

Gavin Brown, one of the band’s founders and sousaphone player, talked to the Examiner about already making a name for themselves, despite only having launched two months ago.

How did you end up coming together?

“Myself and Sumo, who plays trumpet, are also members of Wobbly Bob (Huddersfield ska punk act) and we both have a joint love for the New Orleans sound so we decided to set something up.

“We came up with the idea at the beginning of the year but have only been up and running for the past two months because we had to find all the players we needed.

“Now there’s 10 of us.

“One is my brother Lloyd, on trombone and the rest we picked up from other bands we know, including the traditional Silkstone Brass Band that I play with.

“Everyone has some form of brass or army band background.

“We’ve got a good age range, with Richard Jones and Oli Rath being our youngest at 18 and our oldest at 38.”

Deadbeat Brass, new Huddersfield New Orleans and riot jazz inspired band

How did you come across New Orleans brass (marching bands known for their celebratory and upbeat tunes) and riot jazz (a term coined by Youngblood Brass Band, who felt they did not fit simply into jazz, hip-hop, punk or any other existing genre)?

“It was through hearing the music.

“They are very niche genres but I came across them as I’m a peripatetic music teacher.

“I try to find stuff that’s a bit out there for my students to show them the massive range of musical styles.

“The culture of New Orleans is so rich and the sound of the bands is awesome.

“We’ve been writing songs in the styles but then playing them from memory because that’s how a lot of the bands work over in New Orleans especially.

“There’s a lot of soloing within the songs which make them freer than more traditional brass band music and there’s nothing that says exactly how the music should be.

“We’ve been doing some busking and street performance to prepare ourselves though.”

You were chosen to support Israeli funk band The Apples at the Parish and played with New Orleans Hot 8 Brass Band on some of their UK tour dates. How have you managed that so soon?

“We told promoter Mikey Baird from the Parish that we’d formed and he put us on with the Apples.

“But we also have other contacts between us and try to promote our internet presence so people can hear our sound.

“It was thanks to those that someone got in touch with us and asked us if we’d like to play with Hot 8.

“We had said before we’d go and watch them when they came over.

“It’s our dream to be asked – they are one of our main influences.”

READ MORE: Marsden Jazz Festival 2016: What's on at the event

What distinguishes Deadbeat from Hot 8’s sound?

“It’s difficult to be totally different to them but we try to incorporate our Yorkshire influences.

“Some of our songs are sung in a Yorkshire dialect to marry the two traditions together.

“We’re both about bringing the party so we make sure that we’ve got good rhythms and an upbeat sound.”

The sousaphone is a fantastic instrument, how did you come to start playing it?

“It was down to the influence of riot jazz.

“It took me a while to save up. They’re quite expensive because it’s a traditional US instrument that had to be imported.

“But now I’ve got it it’s my pride and joy and I can’t put it down.”

It’s pretty massive, how do you manage to keep stood up with it for a whole set?

“Well, mine’s not as heavy as the traditional ones because it’s made out of carbon fibre.

“But I’m used to playing large instruments – I started out playing the tuba.”

What’s in your repertoire?

“We’ve got some original tracks, such as Latin Mother, which we’ll be recording this summer for either a single or EP, which we hope to release either at the end of August or in September.

“But we also do covers from musicians as diverse as Taylor Swift and White Stripes just to push the boundaries and appeal to as many people as possible.

What can we expect from Deadbeat in the coming months?

“We’ve got a lot of booking requests and have already been asked to play two festivals next year.

“We’ll just have to figure out how to fit everything around our jobs.”

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