2004 Spring Festival - Live: Senior Cup


Live band by band coverage from Blackpool's Winter Gardens

Geoffrey Whitham and Peter Roberts

Test piece:
Journey into Freedom, Eric Ball

Commences: 11.30am


Ransome, 1
Conductor: Russell Gray

Good opening - together and there a nice sound to the band. This has plenty of potential. Well done sop. Cornet work well together - it's tight and mistakes are minimal. Very good solo lines and the MD develops a real fine show. Ensemble work is first rate. MD is in control and nothing major detracts. This is strong stuff. A real quality show with sop, solo cornet and euph shining. An fine starter.

Burry Port Town, 2
Conductor: David Evans

A few blemishes to start but it recovers well. There's plenty of energy in this and the band respond to the MD's enthusiasm. A good effort cornets and there's plenty of good playing around the stand. A slight shame about the slips in the solo lines. Allegretto doesn't feel comfortable and secure but the music builds to a strong finish. A performance that had its moments but just not the finished article.

Drighlington, 3
Conductor: Phil Shaw

A nice confident opening - nice sounds. This has pontential. Good stuff cornets and the tempo feels good. Nothing is OTT. Lovely sound cornet - lyrical. Good effort euph - just the odd clip. Allegretto not quite bob-on - nice bass. There are some slips and as we build and the finish lacked cohesion for us. A promising opening but it just needed a bit more sparkle overall.

Haydock, 4
Conductor: Lynda Nicholson

An assertive start with good overall control. MD seems really switched on. A pleasing start. Cornets do well and the ensemble work around the stand is good. This is turning into a fine show. Solo lines are kept simple but effective. Well done soloists. The confident playing continues - there is the odd clip but nothing too serious. Final section builds well with solid foundation. A strong finish. A good show all round. Well done.

Ashton Under Lyne, 5
Conductor: Philip Chalk

Opening doesn't sparkle. It seems a bit loud and agressive. Everything seems a little forced and the solo lines aren't always clean. Unlucky bass. Good effort sop. A shame that there's not enough dynamic contrast though. Continues with drive but it's not 100% secure. A tad overdone for us overall but there were moments of fine playing.

Wingates, 6
Conductor: Roy Curran

A good strong solid start - enthusiasm and drive - careful!. All works well and the musical lines are effective abd well drilled. It's lyrical and soloists play very well. The sensible direction brings some quality sounds through. It continues well. It's slowing but not too stagnent - slips are minimal but the trom is OTT - very OTT! Effective basses but band - don't overdo it! Ensemble is gone - balance! A very decent show spoilt by over-enthusism.

Ratby Co-operative, 7
Conductor: David Maplestone

Not completely clean to start - it's just not together we feel. MD is pushing things but the band will need to be good to match it! Bass drum - NO! Why so loud? Completely OTT in parts - it just spoils. At last the solo lines emerge - it's OK stuff but lacks a little finesse. It really is far too agressive in the main. Loose ensemble is evident and the harsh attack is not necessary. Overall the band worked hard to give the MD what he wanted but it was far too much and over indulgent.

Freckleton, 8
Conductor: Paul Dalton

Bold and assertive to start but not always together. A touch loud for us - why don't bands take the venue's acoustic into account? It settles somewhat but mistakes are a plenty. A little too forced now - the musical shape of the solo lines don't alwwys flow. Allegretto not totally convincing - there's plenty of hard graft going on but more shape is required. It ends a little too loud also. This never really came off for us. It always seemed like hard work.

Wooley Pritchard Sovereign Brass, 9
Conductor: Trevor Jones

Not totally clean to start but it recovers and settles down. The ensemble isn't always 100% and it seems another band wants to blow the living daylights out of it. Slower section are well controlled but the solo lines are a little contrived. A mixed bag here - some nice moments but lacks consistency. Allegretto is effective. We are now hearing some nice playing, if only it came earlier. Overall a curates egg of a performance - just lacked consistency.

Kingdom Brass, 10
Conductor: Alan Duguid

Unfortunately, nature took it's course here... sorry!

Thoresby Colliery, 11
Conductor: John Hudson

A good quality opening confident and assertive this is ferocious. Moves along well and this is showing potential. It develops with alot of musicality and the ensemble playing is solid and workman like. There is alot of control throughout and it is starting to develop into a fine performance. From the allegro to the end is very consistent. Slips are minimal and there is a fine finish. Overall a quality show - the first in a while. This should make the frame we think.

Bournemouth Concert, 12
Conductor: David Hayward

A indifferent start but it recovers well. It is a touch loud and there is little dynamic contrast. This is volume rather than sound and slips are evident. More slips as we go along and the solo lines are not altogether confident. it is starting to sound like hard work. There is lack of warmth to much of the ensemble sound and the band don't seem to have got to grips with the style required. Allegro to the end is once more uncertain. A disappointment as we expected more.

Laganvale, 13
Conductor: Ernie Ruddock

An untidy opening which is loose. There is lack of clarity and the horn line is swamped. Again this is loud playing but not a big sound. The quieter moments are well handled though and some consistency shines through. Soloists make the most of their opportunity but the slips are starting to count. Allegro to the end has its moments but it lacks sparkle and gaiety. Overall this never quite came off as they would have hoped.

Newtongrange, 14
Conductor: Alan Morrison

Good strong opening with a big sound. This is impressive. Spoke too soon! some nasty clips take the edge off things. At times the volume is a bit OTT and the detail is lost. The sense of style is there but we could do with more dynamic contrast. Soloists do a good job but it needs a touch more sparkle. Allegro to the end is well handled although a touch frenetic. Final bars are really well played though. Overall this was one that was nearly a cracker.

United Co-op Crewe, 15
Conductor: Jef Sparkes

Opening is a touch heavy with percussion a tad too dominant. Some of the detail is lost because of this and it takes a while to really settle down. The overall playing is good but is a touch loud in places. When they do play quiet it is very classy though. Good soloists enhance and it is now starting to sound very musical. Allegro to the end is the best bit of playing so far from the band but the final statement is too loud for comfort. Overall a little less heavy approach would have benefitted what would have been a very good show.

Dalmellington, 16
Conductor: Richard Evans

A fine opening and this is confident stuff. There is detail to be heard and the approach is just what is required in the score. It moves along well but the volume starts to get a touch too much in places. Some tremendous solo playing really benefits the performance but some tempos are a bit quick. Allegro to the end is ok only. The last few lines see a recovery but it rather tails off to finish. This was another performance that was just off the mark for us.

BT, 17
Conductor: Mike Fowles

A nice opening - solid and sensible in style and the tempos are observed. It's a performace that is working well - we listen and don't write. Slips are minimal - not major - and it continues well. Once again the music moves with sensibility - nothing is over exagerrated - thanks you MD. A good overall show - the first goo d one for a while.

Bo'ness and Carriden, 18
Conductor: David James

A nice start - controlled and band sounds are ward and effective. A few slips creep in but no alarm bells are sounding - MD paints a serene picture - and doesn't ask too much of his troops. Solos were slightly disappointing but the approach was pleasing. A lovely final section to this performance to which the MD deserves credit. Well done too band! An understated show overall where the band played to their strengths. Maybe won't feature too hightly but we commend the approach.

Pennine Brass, 19
Conductor: Ian Porthouse

Good opening - nice cultured band sounds. MD knows what he wants and keeps thing on track well. This has much potential. It's always musical and tempos are sensible - once more we commend the MD. Much detail is heard and the little slips don't detract. It's all happening - well done band. It's a;ways in control and we like the shape of the picture being portrayed. A very good show overall - and should be challenging the top spot for us.

BTM, 20
Conductor: David Hirst

A bold opening - perhaps a touch over cooked. This is a big sounding band but we question the dynamic in this hall. The small slips don't take anything away form the music and this settles to a great tempo. It's seems in control again, once more errors become a little more frequent - a shame. A nice band sound come through to a pleasing finale section. A good show - not as convincing as we thought it would be - but has pontential to feature.


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