out for higher branches
Ishani Ranasinghe reports on the latest stunts of The
Brass Monkey Band
Nearly eight months ago I was invited to see a new
band performing at a private gathering. I was a little sceptical
about going and what I was about to see, but I went. Once I saw
them performing though, all doubts vanished and I was amazed at
how good they were.
many bands are mushrooming only to vanish away. Will ‘The
Brass Monkey Band’ be yet another band or are they here to
stay? With so many bands here in Colombo, how will this band fare
against the others? How will they stand out?
is what I wrote about them later on and now, as they played their
final gig ‘The Last Banana’ before they take a short
break I must say my questions have been answered and the doubts
I first met them they quite confidently said, “We are not
just any band, we are so different from each other that when we
come together we are bizarre,” while adding with a laugh that
even they can’t believe how much fun they have.
seeing them perform for the first time, I did manage to see a few
of their gigs and of course listen to their EP ‘The Year of
the Monkey’. And to sum it all up… they have held on
getting better with each step. One of the key factors for this is
their talent and the fact that people just love them.
at Frangipani last Wednesday, I got ready to see The Brass Monkey
Band get onstage and play some of their originals, which have received
an amazing response. As they got prepared, it was quite evident
that there were a few changes in their line up, but they had not
lost their touch.
Rathnapala who contributed with the scratch pads and bass was not
to be seen. We were later told that he had migrated to Canada. There
were two people who were bringing some extra essence to their performance,
Ravihansa Wetakepotha with the tabla and Paul Jacobs (he will be
the producer for their upcoming album) on bass.
started off their show with “Morning Star” a track from
their soon to be released album. After that they went through all
their songs one last time, and of course tested them on the audience
to see their reactions to the newer songs.
Aadhil Aziz, their lead guitarist cum vocalist, put it, “You
are the guinea pigs for the evening.” Playing some of their
newest tracks like, “Colombo Groove”, “Letting
Go”, “Content”, “The Lick” and of
course some of their old tunes like, “Tumbleweed”, “Lay
All Your Hands On Me” and “Sin”, they went through
– if I am not mistaken – all the songs they have recorded
and hope to record.
about playing all the songs they have come up with, I must mention
this one song, which was quite interesting. It actually gave Anik
Jayasuriya, their drummer, a chance to sing – or rap to be
exact. They performed “The BMB” which Aadhil described
as something of a joke song, which they couldn’t put away.
“Every time we play it the crowd just loves it so…”
audience there proved to be fans of the band as most of them were
singing some of their more popular tracks like “Tumbleweed”.
Each of their songs received loud cheers along with ‘whoops!’
from the audience showing that in a short time they have really
gone far as a band.
performance was near perfect, with everyone there enjoying the show
with the sense that they have been a part of a charitable event.
Why? As they performed their final gig the band had decided to give
the proceeds of the show to ‘The School for the Deaf and Blind’.
they bid farewell to the local band scene The Brass Monkey Band
will be launching their album in early February, which will feature
their new tracks which we can hear at Frangipani. Their tracks a
mix of everything ranging from the ballets to fast ones.
Aadhil and Swinly Perera got onstage at the end of their performance
to sing an amazing version of “Underground”, another
one of their originals, one listened to it knowing that this is
going to be one band that will be missed.
they head off in different directions doing their own thing for
a while we wish them well and hope to see them soon. Because no
matter what people say, with all their craziness and creativity,
they did make their mark.