Live Review: Lucky Chops | The Wardrobe, Leeds | 08/07/18


With every city in England still buzzing with World Cup hope, New York's very own viral sensations Lucky Chops bring their own brand of fun, feel-good music to an utterly electric Leeds audience. If you have been on YouTube at any point in the last four years, there is a good chance you will have seen a viral video of a 5-piece brass band playing a medley of popular songs in the New York Subway system – swapping the subway for The Wardrobe, Lucky Chops pull out all the stops in what was an utterly unforgettable live experience.

Playing a mixture of originals and their excellent re-workings of popular songs, the band explode onto the stage with an infectious energy which seemed to permeate the room in a matter of seconds. More often than not bands struggle to get an adequate level of audience participation, but not here; both the band and the audience brought their A-game and kept feeding off each other's strong energy right until the end.

Despite the show going ahead without a hitch, the lead up to the performance wasn't without its difficulties. In an unlucky twist of fate, trombonist Josh Holcomb took a tumble before the show and broke his instrument, leading to a pre-show mad scramble for any suitable replacement. After calling in any and all favours they could, and searching high and low for a temporary trombone, the savior of the evening came in the form of Tim Hurst from Leeds-based brass outfit Loud Noises who kindly donated his pride and joy for the duration of the show. To allow him to get the applause he so rightly deserved, the band brought him up on stage to play a 'bone-solo halfway through the set – and it's an understatement to say he completely knocked it out of the park.

With England's World Cup fever almost reaching boiling point, half-way through the show came the obligatory 'It's coming home' chant. The positive energy currently surging across the county due to our boys smashing it in Russia only served to heighten the sheer electricity in the room – and by the last song it was all but guaranteed that the band would be called back to the stage for an encore, and before the band had even left the stage, chants for more were already ringing out across the venue.

No matter what your musical tastes are, one thing cannot be denied; Lucky Chops are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most fun live acts around today. To go and see them live is a guarantee that you will have a night to remember, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with new friends brought together by the power of incredible music and unimaginable talent. Drop everything right now and book a ticket, you will not be disappointed. Score: 9.5/10

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