After the success of their critically-acclaimed third album Sharpener (HCB 001CD/002LP, 2016), London's brass juggernauts Hackney Colliery Band return with their first live album. With BBC Radio 2 describing them as "one of the best live bands we have in this country", their live shows have become legendary, selling out venues across the UK and Europe. Recorded over three shows in 2016 and early 2017, the recording captures the band in peak form. Playing largely original material from Sharpener and their second album Common Decency (2013), they also dust off some crowd favorites including their unique mash up of Prodigy covers, rousing versions of Blackstreet's "No Diggity" and Nirvana's "Heart-Shaped Box", and concluding with an acoustic version of Toto's "Africa" as they parade through the crowd at the end of the set. Hearing the band playing live is a very different experience from listening to their three studio albums; it becomes immediately obvious that, far from locked-down studio heads, these are some serious jazz improvisers, here stretching out on extended solos, and with a restless energy to push the groove and to form in new directions. But this consummate musicianship and skill is always worn very lightly: the band have always managed to present complex music in an extremely playful, fun way, and to a very broad demographic. Front man Steve Pretty's interactions with the crowd, raise the energy levels still further, and those with a good ear can listen out for some heart-warming moments from the audience, like the somewhat slurry man a little bit too close to the sound desk microphone singing along to "Heart-Shaped Box". It's the quirks and little imperfections make this album special. Rather than going through the recordings with a fine-tooth comb removing the trumpet cracks, sax squeaks, or drum mishits, which are inevitable in a 90-minute power set with seven brass musicians and two drummers, the production is minimal. With the brass band revival in full swing, Hackney Colliery Band manage to occupy their own very distinctive space. Washes of Scandinavian-influenced electronica collide with extended contemporary jazz improvisation, dancefloor-friendly beats contrast with pounding rock rhythms, and Balkanesque melodies nestle up against soul and hip hop grooves. This set owes as much to modern European jazz and American alternative rock as it does to New Orleans second lines or the traditional British brass bands to which their name pays tribute.