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Live @ the Preston Front - National Finals 2001

Section 1

Sunday 23, Sept 2001
KO: approx. 4.25pm

Test piece:
Fantasy for Brass Band, Malcolm Arnold
Geoffrey Whitham and Richard Evans

The results:
1. ASDA Stocksbridge 191
2. Alliance Brass 189
3. Seindorf Beamaris 188
4. Pennine Brass 186
5. Kibworth 185
6. Johnstone Silver 184
7. Mossley 183
8. United Coop Crewe 182
9. Bo'ness & Carriden 181
10. Ratby Coop 180
11. Cinderford 178
12. Treherbert & District 176
13. Thornbury 174
14. Staines 172
15. Broughtons Brass 171
16. Harrogate 170

The Draw:
1. Harrogate, David Lancaster
Prelude. Quick and loud opening with little detail. Perc too enthusiastic! Bass drum really over does it!
Dance. Waltzing along with little to commend.
Elegy. all there but not inspiring at all.
Scherzo. They do like to blow this lot. Untidy and unimpressive
Postlude. Full on stuff again to close. Exciting? - not for us.
They went for it in every way...
Star player. Euph

2. Ratby Cooperative, Kevin Steward
Prelude. Up tempo. It's very scrappy and lacks detail.
Dance. It's a bit hard in tone and the articulation is too pecked for us.
Elegy. Some nice touches but it lacks warmth and tuning is out.
Scherzo. Plenty of big licks especially on the bass drum. Go for it girl!
Postlude. It all gets a bit scrappy now and it's a hectic sprint to the end.
Some good stuff outweighed by the scrappy moments.
Star Player. Bass drum - a star.

3. United Coop (Crewe), J Sparkes
Prelude. Very speedy tempo and hard sounds. Scrappy and untidy.
Dance. This is whizzing along - but lacks shape as a result.
Elegy. Much much better. Good solo lines, but it ends poorly.
Scherzo. Hold on mother! It's so scrappy due to the haste.
Postlude. Better - good clean top D's, but speed kills it.
We think this could have been so much better with less heavy foot on the accelerator.
Star Player. Flugel - very neat solo playing
4. Treherbert & District, Graham Sheppard
Prelude. Why so loud for forte? Scrappy. Nice flugel though.
Dance. It's a touch speedy and hard in tone. Solo lines are OK
Elegy. Better stuff, but a bit loud and the tuning is suss. Nice soloists. A bit of a blob to end.
Scherzo. Not bad at all. Heads are kept screwed on.
Postlude. Here we go! Pretty good stuff to end at a high tempo.
A bit of a mixed lucky bag of goodies. Some nice, some a bit yucky.
Star Player. Solo euph - as tasty as a Welsh cake.

5. Johnstone Silver, Raymond Tennant
Prelude. Up tempo start again, but it's very untidy. Flugel is neat.
Dance. Settles well with lovely cornet solo. It's splashes about a bit though.
Elegy. A touch rapid but again classy solo cornet. Nice stuff.
Scherzo. Too quick for clarity. Hoots Mon! Why the rush?
Postlude. Up tempo and a high speed ride to the end - breathless!
Again, another that culd have benefitted from less speed.
Star Player. Solo cornet - very classy.

6. Pennine Brass, Ian Porthouse
Prelude. Big sounds, but has control. Nice flugel and there's detail.
Dance. Excellent start and this has musical shape. Good stuff.
Elegy. Round sounds, fine solo lines and dynamics. Super close.
Scherzo. A bit of a splash to start but this is very clean and clear. a little hectic to close though.
Postlude. Great elastic wind up then off we go! Big, bold and bloody good to end.
Fine all round show and the marker to beat for us.
Star Player. Solo cornet - finely shaped player.

7. Thornbury, Philip Harper
Prelude. Up tempo again but this time a bit frenetic. It's a bit on the edge. Nice flugel.
Dance. Good style, but it would take some dancing to at this rate.
Elegy. Safe stuff with top rate solo cornet and euph. Nicely shaped.
Scherzo. Speedy a'int the word for it. It's hold on for dear life stuff.
Postlude. A quiet moment before it's on with the racing leathers again. The band struggles with the tempo right to the end.
Why the speed? This scupperred it for us.
Star Player - Euph - a cool head amongst the maelstrom.

8. Staines, Melvin White
Prelude. Not a bad start, but it's scrappy in places. Flugel does well.
Dance. It's a speedy tempo but it's safe enough. Nowt too much wrong.
Elegy. A bit OTT in the dynamics, but again safe rather than sorry. A blobby one to end.
Scherzo. Good tempo,but troms struggle not once but twice. Not clean.
Postlude. Untidy to start - it winds up, but only by a gear. A bit of a struggle to the end.
Plenty of good stuff, but possibly not enough to really do it for us.
Star Player. Euph - well played.

9. Alliance Brass, Ben Ellis
Prelude. Good start and a sensible tempo at last. Not bad at all. Tuning is slightly foreign, but a safe start.
Dance. Again a sensible tempo helps things along. Tuning is again a little oingy boingy in bass line but a good close.
Elegy. Safety first again - and not a bad idea. All pretty good.
Scherzo. Sensible tempo and dynamics. A little strained in places but a good effort none the less.
Postlude. Again good sense and a neat wind up as we make strides to the end.
A real decent show of good sense and playing.
Star Player. Repiano - just a man thing really.

10. Cinderford, Lyndon Baglin
Prelude. Started with high hopes but quickly came a bit of a mess. Flugel recovers things but not a great opening.
Dance. Recovery continues but the tuning has made sharp exit. Well done sop.
Elegy. Very lumpy to start, but cornet enhances as does euph. Ends tamely.
Scherzo. Frantic and scrappy and a little weak in places.
Postlude. A strained reprise to start and the top D's are just about hit. Moves on but runs out of steam in the last bars.
A good effort, but it needed more muscle and style to make a mark.
Star Player. Solo Horn - neat and tidy.

11. Bo'ness & Carriden, Tony Swainson
Prelude. The foot's on the accelertor again. Nice band sound and it's all going in, but it's edge of the seats stuff. Moves along though.
Dance. Nice tempo now and it has shape and some style. Bass tuning is a bit naff all through here though.
Elegy. Safe tempo and dynamic level. Basses seem to be tuned in elsewhere. Good solo lines and musical shape keep this up there though.
Scherzo. A touch quick but it's good playing and it's sticking together - just. Brave stuff.
Postlude. Very nearly comes off to start. Now the motors running and it's very exciting. Great end.
A real brave account - went for it and it could very wel come off big style.
Star Player. Solo trom - handled everything very well.

12. Seindorf Beaumaris, Gwyn M Evans
Prelude. Big sounds, but clean and tidy. Good tempo helps as does flugel. Perhaps a little too OTT in places.
Dance. Nice style and playing from al solo lines. A little discomfort in the quieter stuff, but still, well handled.
Elegy. Safety first dynamics, but excellent soloists again. Fine euph and cornet. Safe close.
Scherzo. Good stuff. Bass drum goes bonkers, but it's exciting all right. On the edge of being OTT again.
Postlude. Not fantastic on the quiet stuff and the cornets slur to the top D's, but hellsbells it's big and loud.
This really had it's moments - nearly all very loud. Exciting though and in with a shout (a loud one).
Star Player. Bass Drum - could get the job of hitting the gong on the Rank films on this form.

13. Kibworth, John Berryman
Prelude. A bit big for forte and a little scrappy. Recovers with flugel but too many splashes detract.
Dance. Nice style to this and it has flow and a lilt. Not many have had this today. Well done.
Elegy. A lovely well shaped movement. The best of the day for us.
Scherzo. Good stuff again. This is so well directed. Shape and style. Just the odd blip.
Postlude. Excellent stuff. It really moves well. Just a hint of tiredness at the end and a couple of blips.
Fine effort. Recovered from a bit of a poor start to give a top class performance.
Star Player. Solo cornet - very good throughout.

14. ASDA Stocksbridge, D Renshaw
Prelude. Up tempo start, but clean and neat. Big sounds. Fine flugel. It's fast but the band cope well. Good start.
Dance. No let up in tempo but its well brought off. Again it sounds of quality.
Elegy. A safe dynamic. Good horn, fine cornet and euph. Ends well.
Scherzo. Fast but its managed and it's got detail to go with excitement. It's going well.
Postlude. Safety first dynamic but it all comes off. This sounds first rate until last few bars when it gets scrappy.
A good quality show - perhaps a few more risks could have helped?
Star Player. Euph - very nice sounds

15. Broughtons Brass, Chris Bentham
Prelude. Quickish tempo that stops all the detail coming through. Troms Struggle.
Dance. Tempo remains up but its not always together or balanced. Bass drum - what are you doing!
Elegy. Some nice band sounds and horn plays expressively. Its OTT on the swells and tuning goes a bit. More nice solo work from cornet though euph a little out of tune and ends this way.
Scherzo. Fast and scrappy. Side drum now goes off on one.
Postlude. Untidy generally. Continues this way to end.
A band that got through it but did nothing with it.
Star player. 1st Trom - had is work cut out we feel.

16. Mossley, Simon Stonehouse
Prelude. Up tempo approach but clean. Good semis. Flug a little flat. Not overblown
Dance. Solo cornet clips a few to start but it all recovers nicely. It doesn't all sit comfortably but there are some good sounds
Elegy. All a bit loud for us. Well played solo cornet. A little bit more sympathetic playing would be nice.
Scherzo. A little disjointed in approach from troms but cornets do the biz.
Postlude. Cornets do a YBS with the mutes (not marked). Again good detail and it ends well.
A decent show but I'm not sure they've done enough.
Star player. Solo cornet - recovered and played very well after a dodgy start.

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