Renegade Brass Band

A 12-piece brass band, marching to a hip-hop beat.

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Renegade Brass Band

In a city known far and wide for its steel, a different kind of metal is now making its mark. Combining 8 horn players, 2 percussionists, a scratch DJ and an MC, Sheffield's Renegade Brass Band are back with their second album Totems, which drops this April.

The formidable 12-piece mix the sounds of a traditional New Orleans brass band parade with old-school hip-hop, jazz, rhymes and turntablism to create eclectic dance-inducing anthems which are still distinctly South Yorkshire at heart.

Hailed by Craig Charles as "the best brass band working out of Britain" Renegade Brass Band have supported such hip-hop heavyweights as Busta Rhymes, Grandmaster Flash, De La Soul and Public Enemy. And on 22 April (Record Store Day), the band will headline the o2 Academy for their album launch – their first home turf gig in more than a year. Others on the bill include DJ Woody (2xWorld DMC DJ Champion), Hot Diamond Aces and Andy H.

We caught up with Andy Nesbitt from Renegade Brass Band ahead of the show to find out more about their unique sound and what Sheffield means to them.

How would you describe what you do?

We're a hip-hop live band, combining the high-energy live show of a 12-piece band full of brass and percussion, whilst also harking back to the classic hip-hop sound of live MC, scratch DJing and head-nodding beats.

What inspires you?

Our music is a combination of so many influences – with 12 people's musical background, it really is a total free-for-all sometimes. We're always messaging each other with something new we've heard, or some idea we've had for a new track.

What are you currently working on?

We've been flat out getting our second album Totems finished up, so we're really looking forward to getting back creating again. We've got a few overseas festivals for the summer, and a few UK shows to launch the album, but all with enough time for us to get back writing. We've got a really special EP project coming in the autumn too, which we're incredibly excited to show people.

What do you love about Sheffield?

Sheffield has a real creative streak, growing out of both the arts scene but also its industrial history – it always produced really original music, visual art, machinery, craft and so on. There's a lot of warmth and support for local artists doing their own thing. We've always felt like people are willing to put themselves out for you, and really want to see you succeed.

What would you do to improve the city?

Sheffield needs to shout about its achievements a bit more sometimes! What's going on in this city is incredible, but when you talk to people from elsewhere, they probably won't know about it. 

COMPETITION:

We have a pair of tickets to the Renegade Brass Band album launch at o2 Academy on 22 April 2017 and a copy of new album Totems to give away. For chance to win, answer:
Q. How many members of Renegade Brass Band are percussionists?

Send answers to [email protected] by 9am on Friday 21 April.

Written by Nicole Kelly.

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