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I predict a Riot

Lynda Moyo gets sucked in by a trombone…and all that Riot Jazz

Written by . Published on April 18th 2008.

I predict a Riot

Is that a tuba in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? You see it's not often you get to witness live hip-hop in Manchester these days without the night shamefully getting hi-jacked by commercially corrupt DJs and grime kids spitting all over the stage, so to speak. Hip-hop is dead remember? Actually, I've always been of the opinion that it's just resting. And for the Riot Jazz crew, a change is most certainly as good as a rest.

The lads have big ideas but aim to balance big names with local and up and coming acts because for devoted musicians it’s about the music not the mulah.

This Wednesday saw the second installment of Riot Jazz upon Manchester, this time at Moho Live in the Northern Quarter (the first saw the Attic on Oxford Road- a 150 capacity venue- being overwhelmed with a raucous crowd of 400 trying to get in).

Riot Jazz is the mastermind of three brass band obsessed students: Axel Sylvan, Tom Harte and Nick Walters, all 21-years-old. The trio have combined talent with taste at this night of live hip-hop, rhythm’n’blues, swing and aggressive jazz: all played by a 10-piece brass band. That’s, tubas, trumpets, trombones, the works.

It was lead trumpet player Walters, known to Riot Jazz as the ‘ginger bearded genius with jazzy balls’, who put together the band of RNCM and Manchester University music students. According to Sylvan the rest was easy: “It was all set up. We just needed to press play.”

Acts such as The Haggis Horns, Mark Ronson, Kashmere Stage band and other lesser known brass bands from New Orleans inspired the lads. Harte said: “Swing and Rhythm and Blues is real, pure music that we’ve grown up on. The night works because it’s original and it’s fun.”

This week's special guest was British rapper, Skinnyman. He performed with the band unprepared and unaware. Within 15 minutes of the set, the outspoken London lyricist admitted: “When you MC badly you can always blame the DJ, but you can never blame this band.”

The lads have big ideas but aim to balance big names with local and up and coming acts because for devoted musicians it’s about the music not the mulah. Whatever the line-up, it’s the band who will ultimately steal the show and they are set to expand to become a 20-piece, with the addition of guitarists and saxophonists. The snaking queues outside Moho on Wednesday proved how in just a matter of weeks this group of talented, anonymous, musicians has captured the attention of a city in a way only the Pied Piper of Hamlen could do. All in all, a refreshingly, positive addition to Manchester's wilted live scene.

For more information on the next Riot Jazz, please visit www.myspace.com/riotjazz

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networkerApril 18th 2008.

Great music. Shame about the images of bound and gagged women in the artwork.

gedeyeApril 18th 2008.

Ive attended the two installments of Riot Jazz to date ...and can highly recommend it - thats if you can face the crowds!! Its certainly popular!!

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