The WHAT CHEER? BRIGADE is a rowdy misfit 19-piece roving brass band from Providence, RI. It’s a mobile party with a taste of Bollywood, the Balkans, New Orleans, Samba, and Hip Hop. With no singer and zero amplification, some call the band’s sound Luddite Hardcore—proof that loud music doesn’t need
The Brigade defies categorization, appealing equally to punks and farmers, old and young. The group is a raucous live experience, not easily captured on recording. Until you are face to face with a very excitable monkey-man on drums, with trumpets blasting just a few feet away, you have yet to experience the atrocity that is the What Cheer? Brigade.
SINCE 2005…..The band has played in bars, libraries, trees, cemeteries, weddings, bus stops, ferris wheels, farms, and elementary school playgrounds. From small community events to the large festivals (including the Sziget Festival in Budapest with 350,000 people in attendance,) WCB always leaves a trail of dropped jaws & smiles in its wake.
What Cheer? Brigade has played alongside all sorts of bands including Man Man, Dengue Fever, Okkervil River, Lightning Bolt, Bindlestiff Family Circus, Wolf Parade, DJ Scratch, and Slavic Soul Party, just to name a few.
In 1636, Roger Williams left Salem, Massachusetts to seek religious independence and landed at what’s now Providence. According to legend, members of the Narragansett Nation greeted him with “What Cheer, Netop?” (Netop was a Narragansett word for friend, and What Cheer was an English greeting brought to New England by English settlers.) It’s like saying “¿Que tal, man?”
The music owes its history to the spread of brass throughout the World through military conflict and colonialism. Brass sounds got mashed up with local rhythms and traditions and there was a world brass explosion; we’re part of the fallout.
Bio from http://www.whatcheerbrigade.com/about/ on 1/9/2009
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