With a rollicking rhythmical starter that acts like downing a line of shots 'Rufio' a little later on is kicked off by, making sense given what has gone before, communal clapping. A brass fantasy of an affair there's a great baritone sax solo from Chris Maddock early on underpinned by sousaphone part of the early highlights. 'Hall of Meat' is even more powerful like a wall of sound with trumpets and trombones building the sound up brick by brick. Running a rope ladder over the top, escape is provided by some fiery trumpet soloing that emerges as if peering blinkingly through the hatch.
It's been a while on the Brit scene since we've had anything like this. Probably the Mancs Beats & Pieces Big Band were the last as good in the approximate style domain. But this, drilling down and going for the detail, is not the same sound given that it is not at all Kenton-esque (one element of the B&P sound swirl) and because of a certain more ritualistic and some times damn funky tilt proves more 1970s-like. Perhaps it is also the brass band oomph at the heart of it all that gives this all life and a certain heat that you only get with powerful brass players when they get down. Think of Tower of Power and it's like your wig is being whipped off by a wind machine rotating at gale force intensity. So much for glue.
Tunes are mainly by trombonists Richard Foote and Kieran McLeod. Drummer Jonathan Silk chips in a bit too. There's a cracking McLeod arrangement of Gene McDaniels classic 'Feel Like Makin' Love' once and still made instantly familiar by Roberta Flack fed in. Bristol ace, the highly spirited Pee Wee Ellis-mentored altoist James Gardiner-Bateman produced the record, and you get a sense of lifeforce throughout that he would have contributed to. The way the charts are constructed allow for a brass togetherness, belting the very fuck out of the tunes and somehow not sounding rough and ready in the process. There's no fear of overkill. But certainly loud and proud brass is certainly back. Out on 18 June. Young Pilgrims, top. Photo via Stoney Lane