THE MUCH anticipated return of the popular Chicago-based hip hop collective the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble to Limerick this July, their first in the city since August last year, has taken an exciting turn with the news that two locally based bands are to support the brass collective.
The gig, a Streetlife presented show in Dolan’s Warehouse, coming after the HBE, supported Gorillaz in the O2 and guested on their album, Plastic Beach, touring all over the world and playing on Jools Holland and two recent sold out gigs in Sydney Opera House, is already an exciting one, now made more so by the addition of the Funk Junkies and Groove Junction to the bill as support acts.
The Funk Junkies, lead by Paul Boland and featuring a wealth of superb local musicians, are well-known for their regular powerhouse sets in Nancy Blakes, while the more recently formed Groove Junction, a seven-piece jazz-funk outfit, features well known local musicians Paul O’Connor, Bart Kiely and Peter Hanagan, plus Tralee native sax player Mossie O’Shea, vocalist Linda Galvin and Polish keyboardist Gregory Grycan, and are also hugely popular in local music circles.
Joining the latter on drumming duties is world renowned session musician Carlos Hercules, a former Motown drummer and now Limerick resident who recently appeared on Jools Holland with Beverly Knight and has played with George Michael and the Eurythmics over a stories career.
The nine man Hypnotic Brass Ensemble have been regular visitors to Limerick over the past couple of years, and profess their love for the city and ardent fans on every trip. Indeed they have played a huge number of sold out gigs in Ireland over the past three years, but their popularity shows no signs of waning. Touring commitments mean that the sons of jazz legend Phil Cohran will not be playing at Electric Picnic this year - the first time in three years - so this might just be the last chance to see the superb brass outfit live in the flesh this year.
Currently working on a new album with Damon Albarn, Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and legendary afrobeat drummer Tony Allen, the Brass also expect to launch their own LP later in the year.
Along with the addition of the local bands, this promises to be a very special show indeed.