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I Predict a RIOT!

Riot Jazz Brass Band - Aberdeen Jazz Festival


by Layla Shaheen


Manchester’s own nine-barrelled Riot Jazz Brass Band took to the stage of the Lemon Tree on Thursday, performing as part of Aberdeen’s annual Jazz Festival. Three sizzling albums and multiple festival gigs deep, this fresh young band brought an amalgamation of styles, from Latino to Caribbean get-low numbers, nailing every harmony, syncopated insert and all with an air of seeming effortlessness. Their repertoire was chocked full of glissandos, filthy riffs and wails enough to send you spinning. As raw and authentic as they come, each member of the ensemble showed their own style and talent in multiple solos throughout the concert, and their passion for their art was unquestionable.


The incredibly tight brass septet was backed up by the voracious bass from the sousaphone, with the tasteful internal rhythm of the drumkit holding everything together. Their style was an ode to every major jazz discipline imaginable, covering a range of witty originals, catchy compositions and even some old renditions spun into deliciously jazzy covers. These included an aggro-jazz version of Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ and a funky Britney ‘Toxic’ cover, both sending a surge of involvement through the crowd, with spines wriggling and limbs flying.


Probably the most enticing part of the Riot experience was the sheer involvement of the audience. Comedic genius poured from the stage and captivated everyone, bringing an overtone of joy and laughter into an already ludicrously enjoyable evening. The crowd was a fruit-bowl of subgroups, which only stood as a figure of their band’s stylistic versatility. Infusions of rap gave a thoroughly modern feel to the evening and kept the spectators on their toes. Enriched with pure unadulterated comedy, interaction and anecdotes, the band put their stamp on the night with such conviction that the audience was left longing for more.

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