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Fantasy Brass Band - ref feat002

Ever wondered if you had just won a double role over on the lottery, and had just invented the power to bring back people from the dead, what brass band you could get together to win every competition under the sun?

We at 4BarsRest have just won a tenner on the Thunderball and have got a slightly strange interest in necrophilia, so we’ve given it our best shot and come up with a band that would in our opinion be absolutely unbeatable.

The only rule is that the players have to had either played in or with a brass band at some stage of their career. (some lateral thinking is allowed)

Conductor: Harry Mortimer.
O.K. We would have to call on St. Peter to get permission to let him off practice with the celestial choir of angels, but his record speaks for itself and he would have to wag the stick, organise rehearsal times and perform the miracle of turning water into beer and lager for the tea break.

Principal Cornet: Jim Shepherd.
God’s chosen messenger on earth and the greatest cornet player in the history of the world. Just think of him seated there - just like the picture of him on the cover of the High Peak record. Awesome.

Solo Cornets: Maurice Murphy, Wynton Marsalis and Jean Baptiste Arban.
Not a bad team eh? Murphy’s there just in case ol’ Shep wanted a break, whilst Wynton could play the odd jazz riff if required. A good lip on him as well by all accounts. Arban on 4th man would be the best “shoveller” in the business. Could play anything if required – or so we are to believe if his book is anything to go by.

Soprano Cornet and Repiano: Peter Roberts and Phillip McCann.
Can’t think of anyone else for the Sop job. Peter Roberts is a phenomenon and only Arturo Sandaval could possibly do a better job “up top”. It is for a brass band contest, so St. Peter gets the nod. The Scots warbler gets the rep seat just in case there are a few oldies in the audience who bought his “Worlds Suger Coated Melodies – Volume 19”.

Back Row Cornets: Herbert Clarke, Willie Lang, Maurice Andre and Bix Biederbeck.
Mortimer would have his work cut out to keep these boys happy playing the low stuff but what a back row these would make. Clarke’s in for the Yanks and he could also get the band a few Sousa marches into the bargain, whilst Biederbeck could keep the boys in class A stimulants if required. Willie Lang’s a pretty good cornet player, whilst Andre should keep those above him on their toes.

Flugal: Clarke Terry.
If you haven’t heard of him, then shame on you all. Possibly the greatest jazz flugal player in history – and doesn’t every flugal player think he can play jazz by putting in the odd trill every bloody note. This man can do it all and more besides.

Tenor Horns: Gordon Higginbottom, Sandy Smith and Sheona White.
Got to stick with what we know here. Higginbottom gets the nod as long as he’s promised an afterlife in Hell if he even thinks he can dress up as a bloody bumble bee, whilst Sandy Smith gets in on reputation alone – one hell of a player. Sheona White shows that girls can blow and gets us the feminist vote to boot.

Trombones: Christian Linburg, Don Lusher and Douglas Yeo.
Not a bad line up on the bones. Linburg and Lusher would complement each other brilliantly as long as the Swede doesn’t play any of that music that makes him sound like a bloody motorbike, and both can blow a bit if given the chance. Not bad soloists either. Yeo is quite simply the greatest bass trombone player the world has ever seen.

Baritones: Colin Hardy and John Slinger.
Just had to be didn’t it? The most traditional of brass band instruments needs the most traditional players to make the most of them. Two essential elements of Dykes great success of the sixties and seventies, and like fast bowlers in cricket, great baritone players come in pairs. This was the Lillee and Thompson of the banding world.

Euphoniums: Robert Childs and Nicholas Childs.
Someone might say it’s a bit like having the Neville brothers in playing for England, but in their prime, the two best euph players in the world. They wouldn’t fight like cat and dog either, if we had chosen Steven Mead instead. The band could also get the odd recording contract from the younger Childs boy as well.

Bass Section: John Fletcher, Steve Sykes, Derek Jackson and Dean Morley.
A bass end to wake up the dead if required. (some of our choices may have seen better days on the mortality front) Fletcher was the greatest exponent of the tuba there has ever been, whilst Steve Sykes was the best Eb bass player of the last twenty years – also good if the band has to play in an entertainment contest. The two on Bb speak for themselves. Jacko reinvented the role of the Bb player whilst Deano has no peers.

Percussion: Buddy Rich, Simone Rebello and Evelyne Glennie.
OK, so Buddy Rich is stretching the point a bit, but you need a good drummer all the same, and they don’t come any better than him. Simone and Evelyne would be able to play just about everything else from the xylophone to the kitchen sink and would look nice in a skimpy band uniform.

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