Mystic Megs 2009 predictions - It's all in the stars.... (or her pint glass...)


What will 2009 hold for the banding movement? 4BR asked the Welsh version of Mystic Meg to see if she could see how it will all pan out....

C BALLIt could be one heck of an exciting year ahead, so 4BR dropped into see the local musical tarot card reader to find out what she sees in store for us all in the next few months… 

It’s always nice to debate what we might think may happen in the next  year, as with the stranglehold of the Credit Crunch getting ever tighter, carbon footprints needing to get ever smaller, and principal cornets in top bands all wondering if they may either get the chop or be subject to a transfer deal in the January sales, there are interesting times in store for sure…

So we crossed the palm of Wales’s answer to Mystic Meg to find out what could be in store for us all… (although we must add she had been on the Drambuie and Red Bull chasers all day)


Fun and games at Butlins. After David Read’s request for innovation and inventiveness last year the championship bands run amok.

Health and Safety officers stop the entertainment contest halfway through as one band playing Khachaturian’s ‘Sabre Dance’ with matching choreography undermine their chances as a misplaced swish of a blade sees a trombonist lose an arm. His subsequent rendition of ‘The Acrobat’ loses something in the glissando stakes…

The mammoth First Section contest at Skegness takes 3 days to be completed.

At the RNCM Festival of Brass, everyone gets in on the anniversary theme. Not content with the Vinter centenary, some composers have located their Old Moore’s Almanac and have come up with pieces to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany, the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Old Age Pension and the 80th anniversary of the first appearance of Tintin. 

Meanwhile, Grimethorpe unveil their new principal cornet player Alison Balsom.   


More innovation at the Action Research championships – with the winning band performing the whole of the Indian Mahabharati in an arrangement for sitar and baritone quartet.

Meanwhile the Norwegians innovate even further with open adjudication, family orientated entertainment and live television coverage.

The Registry reports a record 268 transfer requests from championship bands for players from outside the UK.  The Home Secretary voices concern in the House of Commons about foreigners taking over low paid brass band jobs on short term contracts. 


BT pull the plug on the internet in the West of England after their system is clogged with potentially libellous comments from players of rival bands following the result of the top section at Torquay.

The Welsh Regional Championship is cancelled after the nation’s rugby team win back to back Grand Slams.

Grimethorpe unveil new principal cornet player, Christine Ohuruogu.

The BFBB announce further Olympic involvement – someone from the organisation knocks cyclist Chris Hoy off his bike in a car park in Manchester. 


The new rules for the National Youth Championships come under scrutiny in Manchester after it is revealed that a 14 year old single mother of four is stopped from playing for her band by the DSS after she didn’t report that she wouldn’t be available for full time work at her local Job Centre Plus for the day.

Australian banding is plunged into crisis, as a band from South Africa becomes the latest overseas touring side to beat the Aussies on their own patch. Ricky Ponting is appointed the new conductor of the National Band of Australia.


The Europeans Championships grind to a halt after it is revealed that no British band can afford to travel across the English Channel after bandsmen find that the Pound in their pocket can only buy them the equivalent of a sherry glass full of the local Stella Artois beer. 

After their dispute in 2008, it’s the Austrians who take the title, with their name champion band, Brass Band Red Bull Schwarzenegger and their own choice test piece ‘Told you we would be back’”.


The top prize at the English National Championships is an offer of free air miles, due to the ever sinking value of Sterling, and with the Europeans in Austria in 2010, a Buy One Get One Free family pack of Viennese Whirls for the ‘Best Instrumentalist’. 

Grimethorpe reveal their new principal cornet player, David Beckham.


There is news of a new ‘British style’ brass band in Poland – made up it seems of British plumbers, builders and carpenters from the UK who it seems have taken the opportunity to earn better wages for themselves by working in someone else’s country for half the cost of local tradesmen.

Polski Colliery Silver Workingmen’s Band announces plans to enter the 2010 European Brass Band Championships.


More bad news for Australian banding as Ricky Ponting oversees a series defeat by the Pacific Islands in the Super 14 Quartet and Solo Championships in Brisbane.

Meanwhile the BFBB announce further Olympic plans – this time to help raise much needed funds for the completion of the Olympic stadium by getting bands to play carols outside London department stores this Winter.

‘Every little helps’ says Tesco spokesperson, Lord Fat Cat Rip off of Westminster. “It shows just how important bands are to the Olympic movement,” say the BFBB.

Grimethorpe announce David Cameron as their new principal cornet player.


Carol Voderman is called in by the organisers of the British Open after it transpires that there is 15 way tie for relegation from the contest to the Grand Shield after a 4 million – 1 series of results at the contest.

Carol is asked to take two from the top and three from elsewhere to sort out the unholy mess and come up with a solution.

The Home Office announce that they had to deport six cornet players out of the UK after they appeared in the back of an articulated lorry in Hull docks. Their excuse that they were only here for one day to play in a brass band contest and then return home wasn’t deemed sufficient enough to allow them a work permit.

The 4th Section Lower Section National Finals are declared null and void after bands complain that they feel the choice of ‘Benvenuto Cellini’ may well be asking a little bit too much of them on this occasion.  


More evidence of the effects of the Credit Crunch is on show at the Royal Albert Hall, when organisers announce the winner of ‘Spot the Supporter in the Gods’ contest off  stage. 

Grimethorpe take the title with new principal cornet player Barack Obama playing a blinder. 

The BBC announces that to accommodate the increase in Jonathan Ross’s ego (and new £25million a year wage packet), ‘Listen to the Band’ will now be presented by the returning Russell Brand. The new format will see the presenter ring around a few of his friends for a chat about life, music and the problems of how to insert a mute somewhere properly…


The contesting year ends in controversy as Fairey are disqualified from Brass in Concert after their 25 minute programme of 14th century Flemish Suduko puzzle solving through the medium of mime is deemed ‘...not innovative enough’ by the judges.

The BFBB announce further Olympic initiatives with the winners of the 2012 English Nationals being given a bye into the first round of the Greco/Roman wrestling competition as Britain’s representative.

Sir Chris Hoy is announced as Grimethorpe’s new principal cornet player.  


Peace and goodwill to all men…

Another momentous year of banding is over and we can all look forward to 2010…


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