Review – Gallowstreet – A Trip Worth Making

Named for Amsterdam’s Galgenstraat (literally translated Gallows Street), Gallowstreet has grown from a street parade band to a show-stopping festival favourite in the Netherlands and beyond. The 8-man band of brass, saxes, and percussion, straddles the worlds of hip-hop and dance music with cinematic scores and hard-hitting beats. 

Explosive. Contemporary. Creative. Electric. Danceable. Often covered, never copied, seldom paralleled. All of the above are applicable to Gallowstreet, ‘A Trip Worth Making’ torpedoes the concept of brass groups straight into the 21st century. Blurring the lines of the genre, the Amsterdam-based group dedicates the record to over a decade of touring and setting dance floors on fire across Europe, blending brass, beats and electronics.

On ‘A Trip Worth Making’, Gallowstreet explores more electronics, different beats, and a radically different dynamic than on 2023 offerings ‘Laaglands’ and ‘Gallowstreet’ EP – truly, the group’s energy is about as high as their productivity.

When a lot of people in the UK hear ‘brass band’ they think of the colliery bands from mining communities, like The Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band, made famous by legendary radio star Sir Terry Wogan and the film ‘Brassed Off’, starring Ewan McGregor so I was a little intrigued when the promo email for Gallowstreet landed in my inbox.

After having quite a few listens now, my intrigue has turned into outright admiration and wonder. ‘A Trip Worth Making’ has given me an appreciation for the amazing and intricate musicianship of this ever so impressive collective. When I first read ‘blending brass, beats and electronics‘, I cannot say I was excited but I am now utterly convinced by the music, it is energetic, upbeat, uplifting and just shedloads of fun!

The album is chock full of killer tracks where the energy never lets up, opener Assemble! gets the party started with infectious rhythms and beats and the ever so delicious sounding brass that marks Gallowstreet out as something exciting and different. Phoenix adds a cinematic element as it builds elegantly before becoming something uber-cool where jazz lounge sensibilities mix with a fresh sounding drum and bass vibe and then you get the musical punch to the jaw with the wondrous Proper Hired Guns that starts off with a poppy feel before turning into an addictive thrill ride that has a updated feel of the them to Hawaii 5-0 to these ears, I just love it!

These brass renegades hit you hard with the high energy beats of My Two Cents, an enigmatic, funk filled, dive into jazz and electronic beats. Consider It A Calling brings 70’s soul to the party, the brass intro like something from a Chic track before an edgy, irreverent vibe takes over, the uplifting brass adding heart and even more soul! There’s almost a storytelling element to the music of Hungry as it ducks and dives and jinks its way around you, jazz and brass surround-sound if you like, the brass talking to you in a wonderfully musical fashion.

A cinematic jazz live lounge emerges out of the intro to title track A Trip Worth Making, the music building in intensity as we get further in. Innovative and inspirational at once, it’s a wonderfully eclectic piece of music. Spirited Away is full of a soulful nervous energy that just seems to seep into your very being and become part of you, the music is uplifting and joyful and just makes you feel good! Everything comes to a close with On Borrowed Time, a laid back and low key track full of nostalgia, a wistful look at a life well lived or a journey well travelled.

With ‘A Trip Worth Making’ Gallowstreet have leaped straight into my musical affections,. It is such an infectious, upbeat and addictive experience that you forget just how technically impressive these musicians are because you are just enjoying the joyful brilliance that they bring to each of these compositions, the energy just free flowing and imbuing in you a fabulous joie de vivre.

Released 1st March, 2023.

Order from bandcamp here:

A Trip Worth Making | Gallowstreet (