Music review: Orkestra Del Sol

The Scotsman / David Pollock

“You better seize the day, there’s no such thing as having too much fun,” ran a line from one of the songs here, yet it’s possible to imagine that Orkestra Del Sol were attempting to test the truth of the statement with this marathon show. Fourteen years since they were formed by a group of friends at Edinburgh’s bohemian old Bongo Club venue, the distinctive brass band troupe has decided to call it a day, and this was their final fling.

It seemed that they were determined to re-enact the highlights of each of those years in existence, first with an informal and family-friendly café set during the afternoon, and then with a farewell show which lasted all evening and into the small hours, a fiesta of Calypsos, polkas and waltzes whose styles ranged from the Balkans to Latin America. In their time the group have recorded four albums, and they combined each into three consecutive sets of roughly an hour (the last one featuring the entirety of this summer’s crowd-funded Gross National Happiness), with interludes from DJ friends and individual musicians. Memorably, these included sousaphone player and founder Marcus Britton promenading into the audience for a bassy march through Positive Force’s We Got the Funk and the Bar-Kays Soul Finger, among others. With CDs being sold off cheap at the back of a full, beautifully dressed and fiercely dancing hall – many of those in attendance were wielding instruments, and spent some time onstage – there was a sense of finality here, but also the air of a band who are still in their prime and choosing to go out on a high.