By Andy Hirst
Flat caps and brass bands … eee, tha’ can’t get any more Yorkshire than that.
But put them together in Huddersfield and something really rather remarkable has happened for the sound that comes out of one brass band is far removed from the dewy-eyed lament of the Hovis advert.
No, Flat Cap Brass is into the likes of Bruno Mars, Oasis, Santana, Kaiser Chiefs, Queen, Human League, Blur, Abba, Ed Sheeran, David Bowie, Chaka Khan, Wheatus, S Club 7 and, er, The Weather Girls.
American rockers Wheatus were certainly impressed with the band’s cover of Teenage Dirtbag, saying: “Honoured to have been brassed in such a way.”
Yes, it’s brass goes pop, rock, even drum n’ bass.
Flat Cap Brass was set up by Greenhead College music teachers Simon Jacobs and James Reevell and has made a name for itself on the northern music circuit over the last five years.
It’s now a favourite for weddings, parties and corporate events but also plays regularly in bars and music venues across the north. They have a residency at the Peaky Blinders bar in Manchester where they play on the first and third Friday of the month and every fourth Saturday.
Simon said: “There are seven in the band and a few of us were at music college together and just wanted to play again as a group but wanted to do something different, especially as many of us have played in traditional brass bands.
“Like all good ideas, we came up with the Flat Cap Brass concept in the pub. We wanted something that was from Yorkshire, but with a unique twist.”
They now have a repertoire of 180 songs.
Simon added: “We’ll do any kind of style with everything recreated in a bold brass style. We can produce a bespoke pop brass version of any song – be that even the first dance at a wedding.
“The aim is to put a smile on people’s faces. Brass music sounds so different and it’s brilliant to see people’s expressions when they suddenly realise we’re playing their favourite song such as Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s all about getting people up, dancing and having a great time.”
The band plays around 100 gigs a year – that’s two a week.
“It’s really taken off since lockdown,” said Simon. “We’re already getting quite booked up for next year with parties, weddings and corporate functions.”
The band recently got everyone singing along to their version of Robbie Williams’ Angels at Liverpool Sound City music festival in Liverpool and represented the UK at the Haizetara street music festival near Bilbao in Spain.
Other places they’ve played include Beverley, York and Wetherby races, Meadowhall Shopping Centre and the Nation of Shopkeepers food, beer, live music and art venue in Leeds, The Hop real ale house in the Dark Arches in Leeds and are regulars at the iconic jazz bar Matt and Phreds in Manchester city centre.
The band members are Simon Jacobs (tuba), of Slaithwaite; Andy Holmes (trumpet), also of Slaithwaite; Gareth Beckwith (trombone), of Holmfirth; Chris Gomersall (trombone), of Crosland Moor; Jim Davies (trumpet), of Wakefield; James Reevell (saxophone), of Manchester and John Watterson (drums), of Sheffield.
To book the band email Simon at email@example.com or call him on 07557 944819.
* Copyright for this story belongs to freelance journalist ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in stories for the media, press releases, blogging, copywriting, scriptwriting and applying for awards.