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2011 Midlands Regional Championship — Bedworth preview

The new Bedworth experience is producing solid results but perhaps the bands here need something of the old Burton on Trent to get them really 'going'?

Civic HallNothing spectacular – just good solid non-nonsense banding: That’s the recipe at the Midlands of late.  

Spark into life

The Area contest at Bedworth has yet to memorably catch fire –although there are signs that things may be about to spark into life after the smouldering form of late of bands here in all five sections.

There is undoubtedly passion and emotion running through the veins, but it only occasionally provides the fuel for a flashpoint of startling contesting brilliance. 

Plenty of talking points over results, but not many over a performance that singed an indelible stamp of permanency in the memory banks.

Missing the grime and germs

Perhaps the players are missing the grime and germs of the old Burton on Trent experience – the old burger van certainly used to get those with pre contest nervous dispositions ‘going’…  

2010 was a case in point – solid qualifiers produced decent returns at both London and Harrogate, but no winner and no podium finishers.

Three top six finishes and two other bands in the top 10.  OK – nothing more, nothing less. 

A bit more squeaky bum, edge of the seat stuff may do the Midlanders some good in preparation for the finals.

Talent

The talent is there – as seen by a host of strong performances at Butlins, but it’s a frustration that an area that boasts 76 bands making it to the starting blocks (down 4 this year) has only three National champions to boast about in the past five years – and only one since 2008.

Could that change this year we wonder?

Well run

Bedworth is a very well run event  - with two cracking venues providing excellent facilities for the bands. The organisation is slick and professional and there is always a warm welcome to be enjoyed.

It is a pity that numbers are slightly down this year, with no Thoresby Colliery Youth, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Coleshill, Audley, Syston or Burbage Silver (and with Dronfield opting for Yorkshire), but there is good news in the return of Ifton and Skegness.

There is also the big field of contenders in the Fourth Section as always – a sure sign that the grass roots banding in the area is still in a pretty healthy state.

Interesting choices

Meanwhile, there are also some interesting choices in the box too (a feature of this contest in recent years) with Philip Harper joined by Peter Bassano in the top section and Paul Norley, David Horsfield, Alan Hope and Steve Pritchard Jones making up an eclectic mix to decide the Cheltenham places.  

Let’s hope there is something spectacular to get them all going then…

Iwan Fox



Foden's Band - St Michaels & All Angels Church

Saturday 25 May • Egerton Road, Ashton on Ribble, Preston PR2 1AJ


St Pinnock Brass Band - Rock Choir Cornwall

Sunday 26 May • Sterts Theatre, . Sterts, . Liskeard, . PL14 5AZ PL14 5AZ


Contest: All England International Masters

Sunday 26 May • The Lighthouse Theatre, Kettering Conference Centre, Thurston Drive NN15 6PB


Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Eastbourne Bandstand - 1812 concert

Wednesday 29 May • Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne BN21 3AD


Black Dyke Band - George Lawton Hall, Mossley

Thursday 30 May • George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR


Lindley Band

May 24 • FRONT ROW CORNET required to join our friendly band who enjoy a sensible mix of engagements and contests. Our inspirational MD Mike Golding takes rehearsals on Monday and Wednesday evenings in our own modern bandroom located only 1m from M62 Jcn 24.


Littleport Brass Band

May 24 • Littleport Brass are currently a second section band in Cambridgeshire and rehearse every Wednesday evening 7.30-9.30. We are looking for an Eb bass and tuned percussionist. We are a friendly, active band playing at a variety of exciting concerts.


Stannington Brass Band

May 23 • A rare opportunity has arisen to join one of Sheffield's leading bands with a vacancy for an EEb TUBA PLAYER to complete our bass section. We have a good band room atmosphere and a calendar of interesting concerts and contests.


Rob Nesbitt

BSc, PG Cert. Ed.
Cartoonist , illustrator, writer