East London brass juggernaut, Hackney Colliery Band, have seen their star rapidly rise over the past two years. Since the release of their enponymous debut and sophomore album, Common Decency, this riotous nine piece have toured the UK and Europe, playing at some of its finest festivals along the way, and gained support from radio and club DJs, broadsheets and tastemakers ranging from The Times to BBC 6Music funk and soul afficionado Craig Charles, as well as having the likes of Eliza Doolittle and the late Amy Winehouse joining them on stage.
The band’s penchant for a canny cover has always been one of its strengths, and perhaps one that sometimes overshadowed HCB’s frankly brilliant song-writing. After a string of singles led by a cunning cover version, the A Bit of Common Decency EP sheds light on HCB’s original music, albeit with the help of a remix or two.
From bandleader Steve Pretty’s high octane title track, available here as a useful Radio Edit and frenetic remix courtesy of multi-instrumentalist Fedka The Irritant, to drummers Oli Blackman and Luke Christie’s respectively penned Dead Dialogue and Smile for the Webcam, the quality from the band’s main song-writers is obvious. Add to that remixes of Dead Dialogue from label mates Paper Tiger and the mysterious Triangulator, as well as a stomping disco revision from re-edit king The Reflex (of another of Steve Pretty’s songs, Superhero Disco) and you’ve got a worthy collection of original cuts and re-works that will help confirm HCB’s status as a leading light in the global brass band scene.