Pondering the way to a gig at the Royal Albert Hall, I bumped into the aunt of the Ingham brothers in the band Bonsai I was coming to see. ‘They’re amazing,’ she promised as she guided me excitedly in the right direction. ‘Totally unique – wouldn’t miss them for the world.’ She wasn’t wrong.
An inaugural introduction to the experimental groove jazz fusion sound of the dynamic five-piece band – younger brother Rory on trombone, Dominic on violin and vocals, Toby Comeau on piano and keyboard, Joe Lee on bass and Boz Martin-Jones guesting on drums.
The nine-strong song set on the last day of their tour to launch their critically acclaimed debut album Bonsai Club included Hop, dedicated to their grandad who’d undergone a recent hip replacement! Itchy Knee, How Far about finding balance in life, and Sunshine. They were just some of the stand out adventurous compositions that took us up some mountainous terrain, along sheer drops with minimal footholds – each member of the band forging their own path to the summit – where they united to pull us up to partake of the extraordinary view.
Rory’s trombone made a perfect musical union with his brother’s rich mellifluous voice – reminiscent of the legendary Nick Drake in its honeyed tone. No surprise to learn they’re from a musical family who grew up in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, both parents Julia Mills and dad Richard saxophonists. The boys starting violin lessons at the age of four. There was a magical symmetry between these band members that will be interesting to watch develop as they evolve. Like the Ingham brothers’ aunt said – ‘I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!’
For more information about the band, gigs and to buy their new album Bonsai Club visit bonsaibanduk.com