I had heard rumours about my friend Brian Brown. The word on the street was that by day he worked his farm near Honiton, but by night his alter ego played the drum in a Samba band. Hard to believe, but the stories persisted. This needed more investigation, so I valiantly volunteered to accompany him to a practice night.
As we drove to the rehearsal, in an Exeter school hall, Brian explained how his Samba days began. One Christmas, whilst late night shopping in Exeter with his daughter, he heard an intoxicating rhythm. Like the Pied Piper, it drew him unwillingly towards the source of the music. Rounding a corner he found Street Heat entertaining the flagging shoppers with their mesmerising beat. Before he was dragged away for more shopping, he was given a card by one of the players.
A couple of years passed but he did not forget the band…the seed had been sown and it was waiting patiently for the chance to germinate. The opportunity came when Brian saw that Street Heat were running workshops, which were organised to find new members. This was exactly what he had been waiting for and he jumped at the chance to try it out. He didn’t consider himself to be especially musical, although he had always enjoyed listening to music, and it took a little while for him to gain confidence. The first instrument he tried was a small drum called a caixia but he later moved onto the much larger surdo, which suited him better. After six months of practice he was let loose on the unsuspecting public and five years later he is still totally smitten.