NZ’S fave party duo – Hopetoun Brown are BACK!

Hopetoun Brown

Return with a whole lotta hootin’ goodness!

Listen to new track ‘You Know I Know’
(feat. Sophie Burbery)

See Hopetoun Brown live with Finn Scholes
at WOMAD 2018!

Friday 20th October 2017 – In their brand new song ‘You Know I Know’, our favourite horn-tootin’ pair Hopetoun Brown ditch the stomp to share a drum-machine driven party saga about a weed-smokin’ womaniser.

In this speedy rap duet, the Hopetoun boys called up their neighbourhood synth scientist and MC, Sophie Burbery and Weird Together percussionist/bongo player Issac Chadderton. Alto sax player Callum Passells completes the lineup, playing a blistering solo in the first verse before a one-take improvised duel with Nick Atkinson’s tenor for the finale.

Curiously, Atkinson is also on lead-singer duties as Hopetoun Brown explore new sounds. Brass player and Hopetoun Brown’s usual singer Tim Stewart will be back on the mic soon enough, but for now, he’s overseeing production duties with the mercurial engineer Jol Mulholland, who recorded ‘You Know I Know’ at The Oven in Mt Eden.

Also just announced – Hopetoun Brown are excited to be on this year’s artist lineup for WOMAD NZ, held in Taranaki’s idyllic Brooklands Park. They will be joined on stage by trumpet wunderkind, Finn Scholes for Taranaki’s biggest knees-up this March 16-18th. Come and party with our favourite pair, and stay tuned for more upcoming show dates!

About Hopetoun Brown:
These 2017 Taite Prize finalists have been friends since the age of eight. By the time they were thirteen, Tim Stewart and Nick Atkinson joined Karl Steven to form a blues band that would go on to become the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame act Supergroove. This world-girdling band broke up nine years later forcing Stewart and Atkinson apart. A number of years passed before they spoke again, but our horn-playing heroes had been on many adventures and they had much to catch up on. Stewart had moved to Australia to finish his training to become a chef in the fiery kitchens of Sydney. Atkinson became a journalist, crewed on a yacht that rounded Cape Horn before cycling across Patagonia. When he returned from this adventure, while playing gigs in Ponsonby, Atkinson’s trusty tenor sax was stolen. He then came upon a dilapidated bass clarinet, an unusual spindly instrument that needed a complete restoration.

The new sound of the bass clarinet set Stewart and Atkinson off on a brief flurry of composition. At the time, Atkinson lived at 4 Hopetoun Street while Stewart resided in the heart of Ponsonby at 13 Brown Street. Hopetoun Brown was christened! At this stage, the duo simply performed instrumentals and it wasn’t long before Atkinson left Auckland again on another extended voyage, this time to the Antarctic Island of South Georgia. More than four years passed before Supergroove were reunited in October 2007, and Stewart and Atkinson began rehearsing and playing again. A horn section is like a band within a band. They often need their own rehearsals to get tight for the full band practices, but it can get a bit dull playing the horn lines for ‘Can’t Get Enough’ over and over, so our heavy honking pair began to work up a small repertoire of numbers to work on their intonation and tightness.

One day, Stewart suggested Atkinson should play the bass line for a New Orleans standard ‘St James Infirmary Blues’. It was as close to a scene from Nashville as the boys had ever experienced. Atkinson played the line on his lonely and woody sounding bass clarinet and Stewart sang the lyrics, quietly at first, before building to a thunderous stomping crescendo that tapered to a tender trumpet coda. They looked at each other once the song was finished… magic! They really had something new. The bass clarinet and Stewart’s voice were perfect together and it wasn’t long before Hopetoun Brown played their first show at the Kingsland Folk Club.

A little over a year later, they were heading down to Lyttelton to record their debut album Burning Fuse with Ben Edwards. The following year they were handpicked by the Violent Femmes to support their two sold-out shows at the St James Theatre. Hopetoun Brown joined the Femmes on stage both nights and a number of their old school friends were in the crowd slack-jawed seeing their classmates on stage, playing with a band they’d danced to in their teenage years.
Later that year Hopetoun Brown backed Marlon Williams at the Music Awards and co-wrote and recorded ‘Hate I Don’t Love You’ with Tami Neilson. In October 2016, they released their second album Look So Good, again recorded with Ben Edwards in Lyttelton and Oliver Harmer at The Lab in Auckland. Since then, they’ve played hundreds of shows up and down the nation, while recording new material with Jol Mulholland at his studio The Oven.
Keep up with Hopetoun Brown here:
facebook.com/hopetounbrown

Follow Hopetoun Brown on Spotify / Apple Music

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