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The Cuban Brothers (07/03/2018)

Huw Olesker

It’s long been said that Cubans sing when they speak, dance when they walk and woo with a love song so it should be of little surprise that The Cuban Brothers’ peerless funk soul review blends sexy, soulful music, with jaw-dropping b-boy action and riotous comedy. From humble beginnings Miguel Mantovani, Archerio Mantovani and Kengo San have built Los Hermanos Cubanos – The Cuban Brothers – into a legendary outfit that continuously sells out shows across the globe.

Mike Keat (Miguel) started The Cuban Brothers as an entertainment entity after (his own words) ‘watching dance music disappear up its own arsehole’ in the mid to late 90s. His love of b-boying, Latin music and character comedy inspired him to create a fun, irreverent music-driven show to help him showcase his burgeoning talents as a singer, MC and dancer.

After enrolling Archie ‘Archerio’ Easton (a former champion b-boy and ex-Prodigy dancer) and Kengo ‘Kengo San’ Oshima (a dance student and earnest wrong-man) the trio was complete and blurring historic fact with fiction and the three elements of entertainment – music comedy and dancing – the three amigos began their foray into filthy fun and funky action.

Not only the entertainment of choice for Elton John, Richard Branson and Robbie Williams, the trio has also supported James Brown, Chuck Berry, Fatboy Slim, De La Soul, Talib Kweli and performed with the likes of The Prodigy, Q-Tip, Chic, Roy Ayers and Jocelyn Brown, as well as touring the world in their own right 20 times over.

Their residency at Rob da Bank’s celebrated Sunday Best parties led to The Cuban Brothers compering and hosting the main stage at Bestival since its inception in 2004 to the present day.

The perfect foil for the festival’s beyond eclectic hedonism, the band’s deliriously infectious funk and lightning wit plus the gentle ribbing of world famous artists and a lot of inappropriate touching has endeared them to thousands of Bestivalites. Taking their live show into the studio the band’s new album ‘The CBs: Yo Bonita!’ features guest vocals from the likes of Mica Paris, Omar Kurtis Blow, Jungle Brother Mike Gee, Yolanda Quartey (Massive Attack) and KT Tunstall.

In the world of cinema Mike has recently acted in Plan B’s Ill Manors and Dexter Fletcher’s Sunshine on Leith, while the band have completed filming Nick Frost’s next film Cuban Fury. As hosts of the Gumball Rally for several years, the boys also starred in the seminal movie Gumball 3000 introducing them to millions as the main comedy element in the movie.

Starring with Fatima Whitbread on Let’s Dance for Sport Relief and high profile roles in Sky TV’s cult hit Pineapple Dance Studios the BBC’s No Hats No Trainers, a visual mixtape of everything cool took them to a whole new generation, TV specials for Snowbombing and Bestival and various talking heads programmes have kept Los Hermanos ‘on the box’, so to speak.

Future plans include the Cuban’s comedy road movie ‘It’s A Long Way’, shot in Australia in 12 days and 100% improvised in the form of script and action. Already causing plenty of excitement it features Mike Keat as yet another alter-ego, Barry Peters, on a pilgrimage to original AC / DC vocalist Bon Scott’s grave in Freemantle Western Australia.

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