PERFORMANCE TIME: The trio are no strangers to playing at Tannum.
PERFORMANCE TIME: The trio are no strangers to playing at Tannum.

Bundy band brings on the brass

THERE may only be three of them, but this is no ordinary three-piece trio.

The Brass Monkeys Trio brings a wealth of instruments to its performance, far beyond the traditional drum/bass/guitar triangle, thanks to the talents of Tony Brown.

Brown, a music teacher in his spare time, is, according to lead vocalist Barry Franklin, a musical marvel.

"He can play any instrument," said Franklin, and he'll bring in unconventional instruments like the flute and the trumpet (hence the band name) or a mouth organ.

When the band is performing live, Brown will play a loop and then add new instruments to it.

Looping, explained Franklin, sees Brown "play the drums and the bass live and to keep that beat going, he then presses a looping pedal, and it records that beat and keeps playing the loop".

Brown can then bring another instrument into the mix.

"It gives (the act) a festival, jamming atmosphere," Franklin said.

Franklin (on vocals) and Brown are joined by Ray Floyd Jones, a singer and guitarist with 30 years of music under his belt.


The band perform classic pub rock and even some dance albums, but Franklin said they're heavily influenced by the audience.

"We are always looking at different ways to prolong the songs - add another verse, another instrument, it all depends what the crowd wants," Franklin said.

The trio based in Bundaberg love their live performance, and despite clocking up a lot of years in the industry, they've no intention of stopping.

"Music is an escape and (it's great) seeing other people escape and forgetting about mundane things in life, it's an escape for me and the audience," Franklin said.

"Once they stop liking it we'll give up."

Franklin said the band produces some of its own music too.

"We'll play some originals, we'll pop them out every now and then, (during a performance)," he said.

Franklin describes their style as folksy, festival music and said they embrace the jungle-jam style - an ad lib, busy, carnival-like approach to music, with lots of different instruments adding their notes.

They're yet to record any of their songs, but look out for their work on Facebook (Brass Monkeys Bundaberg) in the next six months.

Franklin said so far they've had positive reviews when they've mixed some of their own songs into a regular gig.

But at Tannum, where they are playing this weekend, Franklin said "they love their pub rock so we'll be mainly doing that, we'll take requests, sometimes it surprises you they'll want some Johnny Cash".