The pop-chart success of ‘The Floral Dance’ has become part of the fabric of Brighouse & Rastrick Band for the past 40 years, so you couldn’t help but be swept away by the tide of happy nostalgia that filled Huddersfield Town Hall, as no less than 20 of the band that played on ‘Top of the Pops’ in 1977 took to the stage for what was a memorable night of entertainment.
Sense of pride
The man at the centre of it all was the man who turned the Cornish folk tune into a Yorkshire brass band phenomenon - Derek Broadbent. He may be just a touch less sprightly than he was back then (and if you had seen some pictures), a little less flamboyant with his dress code, but his sense of pride and enthusiasm for his transcription hadn’t dimmed a bit.
As with the bands throughout the night - he was on fantastic form.
The music on offer unashamedly came from the 1977 era - a time that the band was also on the verge of becoming a major contest force once again with British Open, National and European titles soon on the horizon.
'Army of the Nile', Weber’s overture, 'Oberon', 'Priere a Notre Dame' from 'Suite Gothique' and 'Hey Jude' (featuring the horn section) were played with vigour and panache, as was W Hogarth-Lear's 'Pel Mel'. 'Cavantina' and the classic Broadbent arrangement of 'Phil the Fluters Ball' saw the intervening 40 years melt away to all the audience’s youthful yesterdays.
Principal cornet, Dominic Longhurst delivered a stunning rendition the 'Allegro' from ‘Violin Concerto in D Minor’, whilst more Mendelssohn followed with the 'Allegro Vivace' from ‘Symphony No 4' to bring the first half to a close.
The second half was a joyful musical recall - with personal memories intertwining 'Fest Musik der Stadt Wein', 'African Waltz', 'All Through The Night', 'Granada', 'Lara's Theme', 'March Slav', and 'Salute to Sinatra', which the 1977 band used to finish its concerts and which saw the opening segment adapted for the night to feature the past and present solo euphoniums of Stephen Lord and Phillipe Schwartz.
And with Derek Broadbent bidding the audience good night to sounds of the Sinatra classic, 'My Way', by stating 'We did it Our Way', all that was left was for 'The Floral Dance' itself.
It was a perfect way to round off 40 years of celebration.