2005 Regionals: North West - Preview: Second Section


A classic test piece awaits ten very good bands here and it could very well turn out to be a classic contest on the VW variations.

Date: Saturday 13th March
Adjudicator: Brian Buckley
Test Piece: Variations for Brass Band Vaughan Williams
Commences: 10.30
Draw:  09.30

No photo? Please send a JPEG to: stating the conductors name, your band, your region and section.

Blackpool Brass
Conductor: S. Simpson

Last Nine Years:
2004: 8th (S. Simpson)
2003: 6th in Third Section (prom) (S. Simpson)
2002: 5th (G. Smith)
2001: 13th 2nd Section (rel) (S. Blair)
2000: 14th 2nd Section (S. Blair)
1999: 8th 2nd Section
1998: 11th 2nd Section
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: 8th 2nd Section

Stephen Simpson takes the home town band Blackpool here for the third successive year and they put in a decent enough performance 12 months ago when they came 8th on their debut back in this section. They will therefore be looking to improve on that again this year and a top six place will be the least of their ambitions for certain.

John WebsterBoarshurst Silver
J. Webster

Last Nine Years:
2004: 2nd (J. Webster)
2003: 2nd Third Section (prom)(J. Webster)
2002: 7th (J. Webster)
2001: 14th (B. Broadbent)
2000: 5th (D. Hebb)
1999: DNC
1998: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1997: 11th 2nd Section
1996: 7th 1st Section (rel)

Jonathan Webster seems to have a fine knack with the baton and two consecutive runners up places in
the past two years is proof of that fact. Last year he took his band to Harrogate were they came a fine 6th off the number 1 draw and you get the feeling that they are full of confidence for this one. Could well be in with a big shout come results time.

Conductor: P. Goodwin

Last Nine Years:
2004: 7th (P. Goodwin)
2003: 3rd (P. Goodwin)
2002: 10th (P. Goodwin)
2001: 9th (P. Goodwin)
2000: 9th (P. Goodwin)
1999: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)
1998: 6th 3rd Section
1997: 10th 2nd Section (rel)
1996: 9th 2nd Section

The Eb Tuba player of  Black Dyke has done a great job with Delph over the past few years and they are firmly established as contenders here, although they have been a little hit or miss in the past three years in particular. This piece should suit them though and they could well be looking for a repeat of the 2003 performance when they just missed out on a trip to the Finals.  

N. Law Diggle
Conductor: N. Law

Last Nine Years:
2004: 5th (N. Law)
2003: Winners of Third Section (prom) (N. Law)
2002: 9th (D. Morris)
2001: 4th (D. Morris)
2000: Winners 4th Section (prom) (D. Morris)
1999: DNC
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Another old Black Dyke man, Norman Law has really made an impression with Diggle in the past few years, even if the luck at some contests hasn't really gone with them in recent times. Winners of the Third Section here in 2003, they went on to become National Champions later that year and gain promotion, whilst last year they put in a very solid show to come a slightly unfortunate 5th. Sould be up there come results time if they show that form again.  

Conductor: Steve White

Last Nine Years:
2004: 6th (S. Rodgers)
2003: Joint 8th (C. Andrews)
2002: 7th (N. Sheppard)
2001: 9th 1st Section (rel) (C. Roberts)
2000: 8th 1st Section (C. Roberts)
1999: 4th (prom)
1998: 5th
1997: 5th
1996: 3rd 3rd Section (prom)

We do not know at present who is taking the Eagley Band at the contest, but whoever is has got a band who seem to be moving in the right direction here after coming 8th in 2003 and them 6th last year. Another small jump up the prize table could well be in order for whoever has the baton. 

John LuddenGreenalls
Conductor: J. Ludden

Last Nine Years:
2004: 10th (J. Ludden)
2003: 7th in Third Section (prom) (H. Bousfield)
2002: 4th (H. Bousfield)
2001: 10th 2nd Section (rel) (A. Jones)
2000: 12th 2nd Section (A. Jones)
1999: 14th 2nd Section
1998: 9th 1st Section (rel)
1997: 9th 1st Section
1996: 8th 1st Section

John Ludden takes the baton for a second successive year with Greenalls and although they didn't set the world on fire 12 months ago here when they came 10th, they did beat a few decent bands on their first appearance back at this level since 2001. They will be hoping for something a little bit better at least this time around and a top six place could be on the cards if they up their form.

Hawk Green (Marple)
Conductor: P. Pavey

Last Nine Years:
2004: 11th (J. Richardson)
2003: 13th in First Section (rel) (J. Richardson)
2002: 10th (J. Richardson)
2001: 3rd 2nd Section (prom) (D. Ashworth)
2000: 3rd 2nd Section (B. Harper)
1999: 11th 1st Section (rel)
1998: 6th 2nd Section (prom)
1997: 6th 2nd Section
1996: 3rd 2nd Section

Hawk Green will be looking for a bit of a confidence booster of a result here this year after dropping down into this section following their relegation from the First Section in 2003.  11th place was not perhaps the result they were looking for, and they will have to be careful that they do not do that again this time around or they could face a possible relegation battle. The new MD has much to do then.

Chris WormaldHoover (Bolton)
C. Wormald

Last Nine Years:
2004: Winners (Third Section) (C. Wormald)
2003: 3rd (C. Wormald)
2002: 13th 2nd Section (rel) (S. Talbot)
2001: 12th 2nd Section (S. Talbot)
2000: 16th 2nd Section (S. Talbot)
1999: 6th 2nd Section
1998: 4th 2nd Section
1997: 4th (prom)
1996: 4th

Chris Wormald has certainly turned around the fortunes of the Hoover Band in the past few years and they will head to Blackpool as one of the favourites to contunue their rise up through the setions. Last year they won in  fine style here and went on to become National Champions as well, and we think that type of confidence boost will set them up here to do very well indeed. Well worth listening out for.

Manx Concert Brass
Conductor: I. Clague MBE

Last Nine Years:
2004: 12th (I. Clague MBE)
2003: 2nd (I. Clague MBE)
2002: 9th (I. Clague MBE)
2001: Winners 3rd Section (prom) (I. Clague MBE)
2000: 4th 3rd Section (I. Clague MBE)
1999: Winners 3rd Section
1998: 16th 3rd Section
1997: 3rd 3rd Section
1996: Winners 4th Section

Ian Clague brings his band once more over the Irish Sea, and will be hoping this year to make more of a mark than he did 12 months ago when they came 12th. That was the bands worse result here since 1998 and came as a real surprise to menay observers who have been very impressed with the band each time they have played here. Perhaps it was a one off, and they willl surely be looking for a return to the form that saw them come runners up the year before and also become three times champions here since 1996. Wait and see.

Ken MackintoshSilk Brass AstraZeneca (Macclesfield)
Conductor: K. Mackintosh

Last Nine Years:
2004: 4th (K. Mackintosh)
2003: 10th (K. Mackintosh)
2002: 2nd 3rd Section (prom)(K. Mackintosh)
2001: 3rd 3rd Section (K. Mackintosh)
2000: 10th 3rd Section (K. Mackintosh)
1999: 6th 3rd Section
1998: 9th 3rd Section
1997: DNC
1996: DNC

Ken Mackintosh and his band are certainly moving in the right direction it seems here and last year they certainly upped their form to jump from 10th place to 4th. Another leap like that and they could well be placing their hands on the Second Section trophy itself, although we think they could be just as happy if they pick up one of the qualification places on offer.

Skelmersdale Prize
Conductor: S. Foster

Last Nine Years:
2004: 13th (C. Dickinson)
2003: 7th (I. Bateson)
2002: 8th (G. Martin)
2001: 6th (P.Andrews)
2000: 2nd 3rd Section (prom) (C. Dickinson)
1999: 4th 3rd Section
1998: DNC
1997: DNC
1996: 6th

Skelmersdale will be looking for a decent return here this year after propping up the table 12 months ago when they came in last. A new MD at the helm may just be the boost the band needs to help them stave off the real threat of relegation, and they will need to up their form this time around if they are not to fall through the trap door to Section Three.

paul andrewsWire Brass
Conductor: P. Andrews

Last NineYears:
2004: 2nd (J. Hinckley)
2003: 6th (P. Andrews)
2002: Winners 3rd Section (prom) (P. Andrews)

Wire should come here with high hopes of doing well, after a series of results in the last three years that has seen them make it to two National Finals. John Hinckley took them to a fine runners up spot 12 months ago, and that led the band to Harrogate where they came a very well deserved 6th place. A performance like that here will surely give them a good chance of a return trip.

Past Qualifiers:

2003: Bollington, Manx Concert Brass
2002: Moston and Beswick, Lancashire Life Morecambe
2001: Dobcross Youth, Poulton le Fylde
2000: Oldham Brass, Pemberton Old Wigan
1999: United Norwest Co-op Milnrow, Oldham Brass 97
1998: Ashton Under Lyne, Flixton
1997: Haydock Travel, Tyldesley
1996: Berisford Cardway, Mossley
1995: United Co-op Crewe, Moston and Beswick

North West bands at the Finals:

2003: 2nd, 8th
2002: 4th, 6th
2001: 7th, 13th
2000: 1st, 5th
1999: 2nd, 9th
1998: 1st, 11th

4BR Prediction:

Another cracking contest could be on the books here, and Brian Buckley will certainly enjoy the task of seperating the bands out. The standard in the lower sections in the North West is about the best throughout the country and there are any number of bands here who could go on to Harrogate and do very well indeed.
There can only be one winner though, and on this occasion we think that the rise of the Hoover Band will continue and we tip them to take top spot. Diggle are another band who impress us each time we hear them, so we opt for them to join them there, whilst we think they could be pushed hard by the likes of Silk Brass Wire Brass, Delph and Boarshurst. Manx Concert are our dark horse.

1. Hoover (Bolton)
2. Diggle
3. Silk Brass
4. Wire Brass
5. Delph
6. Boarshurst

Dark Horses: Manx Concert Brass


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