Review | The Cuban Brothers at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea: 'A breath of fun-filled air'

What does Portsmouth need on a wet Friday night in December?

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 4:34 pm
The Cuban Brothers live at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea on December 3, 2021. Picture by Paul Windsor

How about Latin American music, mixed with funk, hip-hop, breakdancing and some filthy fun thrown in for good measure?

I’d not seen The Cuban Brothers before, but evidently, plenty of the Wedgewood audience had, with people sporting the brothers’ T-shirts, along with more gold lamé dresses than you could shake a maraca at.

The gig began with a blast, with some tight funk from Southampton-based Tuba Libres preparing the way for head honcho and frontman of The Cuban Brothers Miguel Mantovani to appear on stage, along with his two amigos Archie (Archerio) Easton and Kengo (Kengo San) Oshima.

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The Cuban Brothers live at The Wedgewood Rooms, Southsea on December 3, 2021. Picture by Paul Windsor

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Although the moustachioed Miguel had a convincing Cuban accent, it’s an open secret that he is in fact Mike Keat from Scotland.

Having spent his teens as a DJ and all-round entertainer, Keat created the character of Miguel the 1990s, later recruiting Archie, a young Patrick Swayze lookalike, and Kengo, both phenomenal break dancers… and The Cuban Brothers were born.

They were quickly offered a residency in clubs in Amsterdam and Ibiza and Rob Da Bank made them regulars at his Sunday Best parties in South London. Since 2004 The Cuban Brothers have hosted the main stage at Bestival and have supported music legends such as James Brown, Chuck Berry and Funkadelic.

Although Miguel had no reservations about interacting with the audience and involving them in some risqué banter, (culminating with him stripping down to his underpants), the quality of the music, not forgetting the dance moves from Archie and Kengo was always perfecto.

In an era when so many bands prefer to be cool, rather than to cosy up to their audience, The Cuban Brothers were a breath of fun-filled air.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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