The Hornblower Brothers


It was a normal weekday evening back in November of last year. I’d returned home from work and was listening to Marc Riley’s show on BBC 6 Music. As always there were some great tunes played as is expected, but on this particular night I was stood at the kitchen sink washing the pots, when a certain song started and my ears virtually span backwards on the sides of head in the direction of the speaker on the top of my fridge freezer.

Within seconds I literally legged it into the front room, grabbed for the remote control and whacked the volume up to a level that was probably causing ripples on the washing up water in the next room. I stood there and just smiled like a Cheshire cat with my hands dripping, wondering if at the age of thirty nine, “was I too old to jump around to the music like a hyperactive child that had just consumed a skip load of Skittles?”

I’m not sure if I’d decided against this or not, but I stayed motionless just enjoying every second and doing that thing you do when you hear something great and hoping it does not end soon, but as we all know good things cannot last forever. Thankfully I’ve got one of those voodoo boxes that can pause and more importantly, rewind live TV and radio.

The song in question was ‘Android With A Heart’ by The Hornblower Brothers and I’m sure the amount of times I rewound and played it again hit double figures. I was hooked immediately with this debut track by the Brighton based but originally from Yorkshire five piece.

Anyway, back to the present and I’ve been as giddy as the proverbial kipper all day as tonight they are playing at Islington Mill, which is next door to my flat. Because I didn’t have far to go I left the flat without a jacket, only to get to the door of the venue at twenty five past nine to find it closed. Of course my giddiness was stifled at the thought that it may have been cancelled, but thankfully not as a few minutes later the big black door opened.

At the stroke of eleven the low makeshift stage is taken to by The Hornblower Brothers who look ridiculously younger than I expected. As soon as they kick off with ‘Shooting Star’ I’m grinning inanely once again and glad to see that they are as much fun to listen to live as they are on my Ipod.

Next is the soon to be released ‘Givers and Receivers’ that will be on Static Caravan Recordings sometime in April. Even though the gates are low tonight, this does not stop the small crowd from closing the gap between the stage.

Throughout the show front man Nathaniel will occasionally put down his guitar and use other instruments such as a harmonica and a stylophone, whilst keyboard player Gary also pitches in with melodica and glockenspiel from time to time.

As the clock nears midnight we have all been constantly bouncing to a dozen songs and even though some of them sound very different, you know that it is without doubt the same band. For the closing song tonight I am taken back to my kitchen to front room record breaking sprint from last year and it would seem this track is having the same effect on everyone else.

After the last chord is played and the boys try to leave the stage, it is clear that they were not intending on an encore, but the cries for more are hard to ignore, especially when some are shouting that they don’t care if they just repeat any of the other songs played. They’re eventually persuaded back for one last offering and I’m now left counting the days to their next Manchester visit.


Simon Zaccagni

‘Accidental Editor’ of Silent Radio from its inception in 2009 through to 2020. None of this was planned; I’ve never been in a band, never been part of the ‘music scene’ and never expected to be the gaffer of a music website with loads of dedicated music loving writers. I bought my first record when I was 8 and haven’t stopped buying since. I love crate digging for bizarre and weird stuff, but equally happy ploughing through press releases looking/listening for something I’ve never heard before.