Get ready to rock ’n’ roll for silent film festival at Bo’ness cinema

Skiffle-and-blues band The Dodge Brothers. Front: Mark Hammond, Neil Brand. Back: Aly Hirji, Mark Kermode, Alex Hammond. Photo by Alex Hewitt.
Skiffle-and-blues band The Dodge Brothers. Front: Mark Hammond, Neil Brand. Back: Aly Hirji, Mark Kermode, Alex Hammond. Photo by Alex Hewitt.

Skiffle and blues band The Dodge Brothers are set for a very special concert at the Bo’ness Hippodrome next year, as part of the venue’s silent film festival HippFest.

Saturday, March 21, 2020, will see the return of The Dodge Brothers to Bo’ness to accompany the 1930 silent film ‘City Girl’ screening during the Hippodrome’s silent film festival.

The Dodge Brothers are a skiffle-and-blues band producing new songs written and performed in the old style, harking back to the days of jug-band blues and early rock’n’roll.

The band are: Mike Hammond (guitars, lead vocals, banjo); Aly Hirji (guitars, mandolin, vocals); film critic Mark Kermode (bass, harmonica, vocals), Alex Hammond (washboard, snaredrum, percussion) and, when accompanying silent film, the band are joined by their fifth member - pianist, composer Neil Brand.

City Girl (1930) is a lushly romantic drama directed by F.W. Murnau – one of the most celebrated figures of the silent film era.

Dodge Brothers Band member Aly Hirji said: “We are delighted to be coming back to Scotland. Before sound arrived in Hollywood the movies always had some noise associated with them and as a band we are steeped in that tradition; making rackets to stories to raise an eyebrow, infect your feet with rhythm, and prompt maybe a laugh or a tear.

“With our fifth Dodge brother Neil Brand we fly the flag for silent cinema.”

Alison Strauss, arts development officer at Falkirk Community Trust and HippFest director, said: “When The Dodge Brothers last played at HippFest four years ago they blew the roof off, and every year since audiences have been asking us to bring them back.

“There’s really nothing to beat the spark and energy of a silent film when it is accompanied with music that fits, as theirs does. Done well, a film can be lifted, better understood and intensified.

“ I can’t wait to experience the Dodges musical response to this rarely screened film and we are all delighted to see them return for our 10th anniversary in 2020.”

HippFest runs from March 18-22. The full programme will be announced in early February.

Tickets for the special performance by The Dodge Brothers can be booked by calling 01324 506850 or at www.hippodromecinema.co.uk/whats-on/city-girl-1930-accompanied-by-the-dodge-brothers/.