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24 January 2020

Australian 10-piece brass band to perform at Womad NZ for the first time

A 10-piece brass band will play a spontaneous set when they take to the stage at Womad NZ for the first time. 

Hot Potato Band will be playing at New Plymouth's TSB Bowl of Brooklands on March 14 and 15. 

The band began on the streets of Sydney and is made up of drummers Simon Ghali, Marc Malliate and James Swanson, trumpeters Paul Murchison and Nicholas Calligeros, tromboners Jacob Parks and Max Mallen-Cooper, Sousaphonist Daniel Moore, saxaphonists James Mackay, Edward Tan and Peter Orenstein and vocalist Ben Goldstein. 

"We're very excited for it, we've heard so much about it," drummer Simon Ghali said of Womad. 

The band has previously played in New Plymouth at the 4th Wall Theatre

Ghali thought they were a great fit for a festival like Womad, but he said the audience should expect the unexpected. 

"The band is very spontaneous and lot of the performance ideas are improvised on the spot." 

"The vibe is very energetic, it's very interactive and spontaneous." 

He said it was often hard to describe the sound of the band to people he'd never heard their music before but said it was a mix of a New Orleans street band sound with a bit of Stevie Wonder. 

As well as their two performances they were hosting a workshop on the Friday evening which involves them talking about how they put the band together, how they create musical ideas and arrangements before finishing with a song. 

Following Womad the band will then perform in Auckland, Mt Manganui, Napier, Paraparaumu, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.