The smoking Hot 8 Brass Band came to Brighton Dome to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Thanks to an engaging support slot from Brighton’s J-Felix, the large crowd was already warmed up for an evening of upbeat jazz when the Hot 8 musicians swept onto stage with their distinctive New Orleans swagger.
Their entrance prompted almost everyone in the venue to stand up in preparation for a night full of constant rhythm and groove. Whilst energy levels seemed to vary among the band, the crowd was continuously pleased, singing along infectiously to ‘What’s My Name?’ and ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.
The group’s arguably most popular cover, ‘Sexual Healing’, featured relatively early in the set. The band brought charisma to this anthemic song with solos from the brass section as well as deep vocals from Big Peter. Hot 8 then sprinkled some soul into the crowd with their cover of Al Green’s ‘Let’s Stay Together’.
With the party reaching its crescendo, Hot 8 played their final piece at 9.45pm, cutting the show far too short. The crowd could have easily spent the evening springing and swaying to more Hot 8 high energy brass if time would have permitted. After all, the band has less than 25 years of funk under their horns. A notable omission was a cover of George Benson’s ‘Give Me The Night’, which would have further showcased the strength of the bass trombone and smooth saxophone.
Nevertheless, the Hot 8 Brass Band brought soul, swing and swagger to the Brighton Dome, leaving the crowd itching for their next funky fix.
Words by Tiwalola Odukoya
Photos by Sarah Brownlow