BHU, Limelight – Review
by John Gaddis
Take a group of seasoned professionals, add that to a group of mutual friends that are also seasoned musicians, add in infectious grooves, expertly written horn lines and you have Brass House Unit or its acronym BHU. Featuring a large ensemble line up of two vocalists, Ozzy Lino and Gloriana. With Backing vocals by Josef Tabone, Angela Tirchett and Jackie Pace Delicata and a large ensemble of heavy hitting instrumentalists: Melchior Busuttil: drums; Simon Fenech: keyboards; Simon Sammut: bass; Jonathan Ellul: guitar and trumpets by Kevin Abela, Nathan Abela, Reno Cassar and Carlos Borg; Trombones: Joseph Borg, Deo Mercieca and Mark Ciantar; Saxophones: Ivan Borg, Daniel Quattromani, Godfrey Mifsud and Matthew Fenech and percussion provided by Joseph Camilleri. The wall of sound coming from the band feels celebratory and will get your feet moving, even if you are a curmudgeon.
The group has a brand-new single out, “Limelight,” with an equally exciting video. Filmed at what seems to be a local club, the energy is high, and the band is thumping. Particularly engaging is vocalist Lino, he is an accessible kind of bloke that is immediately endearing in his demeanor and vocal style. The single features high flying horn lines of the likes of famed KC and the Sunshine Band, this is groovalicious funk my friends. The funk bus is being driven by the expertise of Sammut, Busuttil and Fenech, the core locks and they are tight and well-oiled. Each instrument builds upon the next layering in a sound that funks out in an epic way. Together this large ensemble of sixteen members strong, serves it up with panache. A winning track in all respects.
The band states they are “attempting to bring funk back to the masses,” if this single is the indicator to the impending album to come, we are looking at a funktastic 2019 from a Malta based band that is storming the sonic airwaves of danceable music through a mixture of soul music, jazz, and rhythm and blues. James Brown would be most proud. It’s time to get on up, and get your taste of BHU.