The Lower Section National Finals 2002
Post match analysis: Section section
Who would have thought things were going to end so late when the
Second Section started on time – 10.00am on Sunday?
Kenneth Hesketh’s wonderful music was a great test piece
for the bands and just about everyone had something to offer the
judges in each of the four sections of it. Some nearly did it all,
whilst many had one, two or even three good movements that were
scupperred by one bad one. It meant that it was a closer contest
than many thought – with the winners the band that really
made it all come together from start to finish.
Our pre match predictions were Langbaurgh, Hade Edge, Horbury Victoria,
Lancashire Life Morecambe, Penclawdd, Kirkintilloch and Shirley.
In the event we managed four out of the top six – not a bad
return with the bands coming home 5th, 1st, 14th, 6th, 10th, 8th
On the day though Hade Edge and their superb MD, Simon Wood (not
Ward as we stated in our preview – sorry Simon) came out as
deserved winners, giving a performance that we noted for its tightness
in the ensemble and boldness in attack. He took no prisoners and
with a good sprinkling of older players adding to the exuberance
of the talented younger players, it made for a fine all round performance
of real class. This is an upwardly mobile band and won’t be
out of place in the First Section next year for sure. All this and
Mr Wood conducted in a band jacket and with a baton the size of
a Star Wars light sabre. The force was with him though and his talent
shone through. We tipped them before hand and they didn’t
disappoint – wonderful stuff.
Second place went to Brackley and District conducted by Jason Glynn.
This was a performance that we felt had musical character a plenty
but fell a little short with a few too many technical mistakes.
However, the musical content was of the highest class throughout
and each section had colour, texture and atmosphere. It was tight
and effective and benefited from some super individual playing from
the horn, flugel and a monster bass trombone. Well done.
Third place went to our dark horses, Shirley under the direction
of Dave Lea, who gave a cracking show from the number one spot that
very nearly held the top spot to the bitter end. It was exciting
and detailed, but just a touch of “shine” that both
the bands that came above them had. Still, a very fine performance
- especially so early in the day.
Mostyn and Beswick took fourth place under Rob Taylor with a performance
that also had its moments of fine playing. It was perhaps a touch
“blander” than the other above them, but it also had
less noticeable mistakes and so they could count themselves a touch
unlucky. We even said that it didn’t have a dodgy moment either,
so nothing much wrong with it all – but sometimes a bit of
risk taking can be beneficial.
Our pre match favourites Langbaurgh also performed well to come
home fifth under the direction of Tim Oldroyd. This was a performance
that was different from just about everyone else on the day –
the dynamics and tempo were stretched somewhat – sometimes
working, sometimes not, but overall it certainly made an impression.
Fifth place seemed a touch strange given how different it was –
sometimes a performance like that can either win by five points
or come home last.
The last top six place went to Lancashire Life Morecombe, very
well directed by Andrew Wariner, which was well balanced, bright
and exciting, but didn’t catch the ears of the judges as we
thought it may have. They can count themselves a touch unlucky perhaps.
Behind them came many performances that had their moments –
but moments they were and none of them possibly could hold the standard
throughout all four movements to make an impression on the judges
to come higher. Langley, Kirkintilloch and Bendix were the best
of the rest and could have put forward a case for higher places,
whilst Penclawdd, Northfleet and Cockerton all had their moments
– interspersed with too many individual errors. What it did
show was that the test piece was a real test piece – technical
and musical tests that found out the weaker bands but rewarded the
Below this came a bottom five who never quite came to grips with
the intricacies of the music and made errors that were too costly.
Becontree were undermined by bad tuning, whilst Horbury we thought
gave a worthy show, that never quite had the sparkle that others
had – it sounded a bit staid. Torbay, Croy and Rhyl made up
the numbers with shows that did a bit here and there, but never
quite suggested they were in complete control of matters.
So the top prize went to Hade Edge – and what a delightful
bunch they are – full of enthusiasm and good humour and with
a MD who we will surely hear more of in the future. We did say to
him that we hoped he could conduct without the aid of the band jacket
– but given that on the two occasions that we have seen him
wear it hew has won, why should he change?