The Brow Horn Orchestra: Brow beating

17 Dec

Brass’n’beats big band, The Brow Horn Orchestra are next Thursday releasing their first official single – well it’s actually two singles – the tune Goliath, which has been getting spins on RTRFM and the yet-to-be-unveiled Don’t You Wanna Sing Forever.

The band’s leader and chief songwriter, Nicholas Owen, says it feels great to be finally putting something out for the world to hear.

“Being very much grounded as a live band, recording has always been a nervous exercise as we could never quite capture the fun vibe on stage,” he explains. “But I think we’ve worked out how to pull this off with some great engineers.”

The Brow Horn Orchestra is rapidly making a name for themselves based on a killer live show with eight members strong who play trombone, trumpet, two sax’s, clarinet, violin, bass, percussion, drums, keys, beats and vocals.

Fundamentally, they write quirky accessible pop songs with a hip-hop slant, not too dissimilar to The Cat Empire – good clean, fun with a socially conscious edge.

“We’re always going to be about having a good time,” Owen says when asked about the promo they undertook around the time of the last election to vote for The Australian Greens.

“I don’t ever want to be one of those bands who force opinions or ideas down people’s throats political or otherwise as everyone’s always going to have different beliefs, attitudes and values and that’s what makes this country such a great place to live in.

“I think it’s important to use your soapbox as a forum to help express what’s passionate and true to yourself though. Generally we all seem to have a shared Greens ethos in the band and have done a lot of charity shows to support conservation causes including, the anti coal rally in Fremantle with John Butler.

“We just want to live in a fair and sustainable world because it feels like the only way to move forward and keep kicking,” he says.

Their formula is working as this year they won The Next Big Thing competition, played shows at HyperFest and RTRFM’s Radiothon opening party and have been booked to support Arrested Development on New Years Eve. They will be releasing an EP sometime next year.

“A profound moment came when we supported The Sunshine Brothers and had Charlie the drummer from the late Double Entendre and Shan the ex-trumpeter from the Gold Coast’s Tijuana Cartel jamming with us on stage,” Owen says.

“These three bands were the main reason we took our music off the streets and into the pub environment because it gave me some real drive to really have a crack at it. To be treated as equals amongst those you’ve ‘pedal stooled’ is a very humbling moment.”

[Edited version published in The Wire, The West Australian, Issue 81, 09.12.10]


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