Memories from the gig with Shri Sriram and the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band at the Manchester Jazz Festival 2017
Shri – Just a Vibration
Shri – Just A Vibration By Duncan Lomax
Shri Sriram (bass, flute, vocals)/Jasdeep Singh Degun (sitar)/Asaf Sirkis (drums)/Members of the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band. Conductor: Morgan Griffiths
A powerful and innovative meeting of musical minds and imaginations, in which Indian classical and street music meets the British brass band tradition, with jazz, drum‘n’bass and dubstep thrown in for good measure. Composer-producer Shri Sriram creates a fascinating and enjoyable ‘Bombay mix’ of styles in this big-sounding, fun, lively BASCA-prize winning crossover work. Shri is joined by seventeen members of the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band.
“Just a Vibration is about bringing Indian classical and street music, melodies and concepts to the Brass Band to make engaging, dynamic music with the very unusual, cross-cultural combination of brass band, sitar, bass and drums. The influences range from Bombay street music, jazz, brass, Indian classical, Bollywood, R.D. Burman, Wagner, drum’n’bass, dub-step, Mariachi and more. They all seem to exist harmoniously in the same space – as it is all nothing more than just a vibration!”
“It’s a powerful & innovative meeting of musical minds and imaginations, in which Indian classical and street music meets the British brass band tradition with jazz, drum ‘n’ bass & dub step thrown in for good measure. It’s a compelling ‘Bombay mix’ of styles that works because it is the brain child of one man, the multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer Shri Sriram”
British Bandsman, Paul Hindmarsh
“An entertainingly varied set that would make great film music.”
“The set was amazing – I’m still tapping my foot! What an epic concept!”
East London Radio
“This was like drinking a huge pot of the most indulgent creamy hot chocolate, splashed with a heavy dose of brandy combined – 10/10.”
PHOTOS BY SYLWIA BIALAS:
Shri Sriram – Just a Vibration (review by Adrian Pallant)
The visual spectacle of sitar player, drummer and electric bassist surrounded by brass band stands and pennants might well have been sufficient to tempt onlookers to stay – and the opening, widescreen grandeur of Shri Sriram’s music would surely have rooted them to the spot. Melding Indian classical music from the sitar of Jasdeep Singh Degun and the evocative Yorkshire brass vibrato of the Hammonds Saltaire Band with Sriram’s thunderous bass and Asaf Sirkis’s skilled drumming might, on the face of it, have been an unlikely concept. But Sunday’s evening slot presented the bassist/producer’s 2015 album Just a Vibration to enthusiastic festival-goers.
The unusual body shape of Sriram’s self-made electric bass allows him to explore arco sounds alongside traditional methods, his looped effects filling the air with sweet fragrances in-between vast soundscapes. The subtle vibrato of Saltaire’s brass, under the direction of Morgan Griffiths, created intense, visceral drama (experienced, for us all, in genuine inner physicality) through deeply sustained resonance, brassy stabs and the kind of textural panoramas that seem unique to a traditional British brass band sound – and their focus was spot-on.
Sriram’s programmatic balance was excellent, the extraordinary delicacy of Degun’s sitar so sweetly executed before it mesmerically intensified; in-demand drummer and percussionist Sirkis (the anchor of so many jazz and jazz-rock productions these days) was given free rein to underpin with heavy energy; and Sriram’s combination of adept konnakol and limitless fretboard exploration with effects was fascinating to witness. An unexpected delight for an attentive, rapt audience – and perhaps the biggest movie score of all time!