Durham streets to ring with the sound of Brass Festival

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Durham’s streets will ring out with the sound of brass as an annual music spectacular takes over the city.

BRASS Festival opens today and will offer four jam-packed days of every kind of brass music, from traditional to funk.

Events will take place throughout each of the days across the city and, for the first time, the festival will feature an official Fringe, programmed by Durham’s arts collective, Empty Shop.

Highlights will also include headlining gigs from the Fun Lovin’ Criminals with a brass back line, and award-winning folk heroes Home Service.

BBC 6 Music DJ Steve Lamacq and nine ground-breaking bands, mix DJ sets and live performances from noon through the day and night, at the Gala Theatre on Saturday in Alternative BRASS.

The bands include Hackney Colliery Band, Hope and Social, New York Brass Band, Land of the Giants, Renegade Brass Band, Trans-Siberian March Band, Booka Brass Band, KIOKO and Les Traine-Savates.

Featuring a weekend of brass music from around the world, Streets of BRASS fills Durham City with infectious brass sounds from seven bands from Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sicily and the UK on Saturday and Sunday, in a free celebration of the genre.

Coun Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “BRASS 2015 has really raised the bar.

“Building on the success of previous years, this year we have an absolutely cracking line-up of big names and the very best of a broad range of brass music from around the world.

“And local musicians are also well represented, taking centre stage at many events.

“Innovative and bold, BRASS 2015 will show off the stunning city of Durham by presenting performances in many varied spaces, from Gala Theatre to the Cathedral and in the streets.

“I hope people will come from near and far to join together in enjoying the buzz, the energy and a lot of fun.”

BRASS marks its first ever classical strand with the Dunedin Consort, Red Note Ensemble, His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts, and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, performing new work and old music, including the Dunedin Consort’s performance of Monteverdi Vespers of 1610 in the surroundings of Durham Cathedral.

Local musicians, including Newcastle-based Hannabiel and Midnight Blue, will also be on hand to get everyone dancing with their high-energy performance at Durham Town Hall.

l For tickets to the ticketed events and a full programme, visit www.brassfestival.co.uk or Tel. 03000 266 600.