Places + Spaces presented The Crusty Suitcase Band in music @ the factory
The Crusty Suitcase Band - review Written by lloyd bradford (brad) syke
Thursday, 06 November 2008
"The Crusty Suitcase Band. There's nothing tattered or worn about The Crusty Suitcase Band. Sure, there's some things old, some things new. Some things borrowed and some things blues. They even describe themselves as 'old school'. Yet a single evening spent with them is a primary education in the breadth, depth & vitality of the Sydney contemporary music scene, which draws heavily on prodigious, young jazz players, but which can't be confined by that label, wide-ranging though it may be.
HEAR THE MUSIC
They open up their kitbag of blues, afrofunk, reggae, klezmer, hip-hop and God-only-knows what else (Indian, Arabic & other influences are in the mix) and, under the considerable, irrepressible influence of founder and leader, Ben Walsh, they're up-and-running; inexhaustibly, like some coked-to-the eyeballs Duracell bunny.
Walsh is a veritable drum-machine, in the best possible sense: he is as much a precision instrument as the kit he sits behind. Of course, he's not known for sitting still. He's the hyper-enthusiastic driving force of The Bird, Pablo Percusso, Circle of Rhythm, Taikoz & Tom Tom Club. Which isn't to say his adventures end there.
And his cohorts are as tight as his drumheads, too. So much so, it's hard to believe they've been kicking around shy of 2 years; sounds like 20."
Extract from Australian Stage article
Formed in early 2007, this fresh group is a tight blend of old school instrumentation - pure horns and drums. From Mexico, Cuba, and Jamaica, to Africa, India, and Europe, horn and drum music has rocked universal dance floors long before the days of amplification, and The Crusty Suitcase band can keep a dance floor moving with PA or without. Best described as “gyp hop”, CSB is a powerhouse of horn music from all over the globe, with a funkified, hip hop approach driving the arrangements and placing the music in a brand new genre.
An ancient combination in a technological era, The Crusty Suitcase Band will appeal to all ages. Playing big band arrangements of DJ Shadow, Cyprus Hill, James Brown, and Grand Master Flash while celebrating the complex harmonies and rhythms of the swing/ jazz era, original tunes weave it all together.
The brainchild of Ben Walsh (The Bird, Pablo Percusso, Circle of Rhythm, Taikoz, Tom Tom Club), this outfit is driven by his trademark high energy drumming and also performs his original compositions. Sydney Jazz legend Matt Ottignon is the other featured talent leading the horn section and playing clarinet, flute, tenor and soprano saxophone. This is one serious party band rich in music for all people, with some old skool phat breaks guaranteed to give you a smile from ear to ear, and keep your booty moving.
Old Hat is a collection of 6 songs that will give the listener a crash course in the flavour of The Crusty Suitcase Band - from the dirty cop soundtrack-like funk of 'Matched Luggage' to the anthemic dub outro of 'Flying to my homeland'.
Band Members: Ben Walsh on drums, Matt Ottignon on clarinet, flute, tenor saxophone, and soprano saxophone, Sam Golding on sousaphone, and a range of the tastiest horn players around, including Tim Stocker, Lucian McGuiness, Ian Petersie, Kim Lawson
Other concerts in the series
Friday 2nd October - Tina Harrod in music @ the factory
Thursday 15th October - Australian Art Orchestra, Into the Fire, a fusion of Indian music and jazz @ the the Factory
Friday 27th November - Taikoz/Topology/Karak, Japanese drumming, the Australian Way and the talents of Topology, one of the foremost contemporary music ensembles and Karak @ the Enmore Theatre