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2018 North West Regional Championships
As it happened

All the action from the 2018 North West Regional Championships — As it happened.

Sunday 25, 22:23:47

Goodnight from Blackpool

Next stop, Huddersfield

Congratulations to all the bands competing in Blackpool today regardless of their placing, but those who have been victorious and qualified for the Finals will have extra reason to celebrate before starting the fund raising activities.

As always, the army of volunteers do a tremendous job in running the three halls as they do so efficiently, but there was a clear message today from Peter Bates, the Regional Secretary for new blood to help out. Our thanks go to those people who've helped us out today. It's appreciated.

News reports will appear from today in the next few days, but the next stop on the Regional trip is Huddersfield Town Hall next weekend for the very enjoyable Yorkshire Championships.

Here's a few tweets from the hat-trick champions Fodens.




Sunday 25, 19:43:11

Results:

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Brass Metamorphosis' — James Curnow

Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & Glyn Williams

1. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)*
2. Freckleton (Paul Dalton)*
3. Wardle Anderson Brass (Sean Conway)
4. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
5. Haslingden & Helmshore (Simon Cowen)
6. Blackburn & Darwen (Dr David Thornton)
7. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
8. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
9. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
10. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
11. Crewe Brass (Matt Pithers)
12. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
13. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
14. Diggle (Melvin Tay)
15. Poulton-Le-Fylde (Andrew Warriner)

Percussion award: Oldham (Lees)

*Top two Qualify for National Final


Sunday 25, 19:23:26

First Section:

The end…

We have reached the end of the contest day in Blackpool where the First Section never really sparkled as it may have done. There have been lots of hard working renditions, but convincing musical ones have been a little short coming for us today.

Picking a top 6 though could be interesting….

4BR Prediction:

:

1. Wardle Anderson Brass
2. Oldham Lees
3. Blackburn
4. Freckleton
5. Diggle
6 Mossley


Sunday 25, 19:00:18

First Section:

Oldham into contention...

As we head for the climax, a well directed, focussed reading from Oldham (Lees) is the pick of the bunch from a trio that included Crewe Brass and Cheshire Constabulary. Both of those, you couldn't knock the purpose or musical intent, they just needed more clarity and detail.

Top 3

1. Wardle Anderson Brass
2. Oldham Lees
3. Blackburn


Sunday 25, 18:37:35

Results:

Championship Section:

Test Piece: 'Odyssey' — Kevin Norbury

Adjudicators: Derek Broadbent & Jim Davies

1. Foden's (Prof Nicholas Childs)*
2. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)*
3. Fairey (Garry Cutt)**
4. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Stig Maersk)
5. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
6. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
7. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
8. TCTC Group (Jef Sparkes)
9. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
10. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
11. Ashton-under-Lyne (Philip Chalk)

Best Soprano: Richard Poole (Fodens)
Percussion Section: Leyland
Youngest Player: Adam Penlington (15)

**Fairey pre-qualified for the National Final at Royal Albert Hall
*Qualify for the National Final at Royal Albert Hall


Sunday 25, 18:07:52

First Section:

Has Wardle thrown itself into the mix?

Three more bands have come and gone since the comfort break with a terrific show from Wardle Anderson Brass, that was full of detail and control, really impressing us, but what about in the box?

Silk Brass didn’t find their contesting feet today with Eccles Borough produced a disciplined and thoughtful reading which was individualistic at times and one for judges to ponder

Top 3

1. Wardle Anderson Brass
2. Blackburn
3. Freckleton


Sunday 25, 18:01:12

Championship Section:

Are Foden's going to make it a clear cut hat-trick... ? You would think so...

There have been some close run contrasts here over the last few years but you suspect this isn't going to be one of them. Foden's was a class apart today you feel — with Fairey very good but not at their best and Leyland rejuvenated but still a little way behind.

Those three to appear at the Albert Hall with a hard working Milnrow, Pemberton and Wingates for us a fair distance back.

1. Foden's
2. Fairey
3. Leyland
4. Milnrow
5. Wingates
6. TCTC Group

Dark Horse: Pemberton


Sunday 25, 17:51:28

Championship Section:

11. TCTC Group (Jef Sparkes)

A forceful and unfortunately far too untidy rendition to perhaps get the band to London — and another from the evangelical school to salvation by sheer eagerness approach. You could not fault the sense of determination but at times it was far too adrenaline fuelled.

When the cultured lyricism was shown it was so well handled that you wonder where it had been hiding. That seemed to act like a Ritalin injection to the hyperactivity and the MD was at last able to control the passion and brio to end on a high that would have had old Billy Graham smiling.


Sunday 25, 17:35:35

Championship Section:

10. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Stig Maersk)

A very individualistic take on the score from the MD — almost evangelical in its zeal, may be the Marmite performance of the day in the box. It's was fire and brimstone stuff — like being driven to salvation by one of those southern baptist ministers in supersonic sermon mode.

You couldn't fault the drive, determination and commitment, but any subtlety was lost. It cried out for composure and cultured restraint, but what an ending — the gates of heaven opening like those at Graceland for Elvis. Marmite indeed — but you never know....


Sunday 25, 17:17:43

Championship Section:

9. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)

At last — a performance cut from the same quality cloth of Foden's and Fairey — even if it didn't quite have the same deep velvety crush quality in terms of ensemble smoothness.

There was excitement by the bucketful though — sharp, snappy, occasionally edgy, but oh so vibrant. Great euph was a feature throughout and the cornet solo was so nearly a peach. The flying return was expertly handled by the MD in what was such a well thought out take on the score. The finale was triumphant all right — and could have booked their return to the Albert Hall in considerable comfort.


Sunday 25, 17:03:31

First Section:

Halfway

We have reached the half way point in the First Section and its an intriguing contest. A number of bands are challenged by linking the various variations together and we have had everything from the light approach to the robust. Performances are needing a bit more clarity to stand out for us, but Boarshurst Silver, National Champions of Section Two, certainly didn't fear the piece. Neither did Blackburn & Darwen who benefited from a fine reading by David Thornton.

Top 3:

1. Freckleton
2. Diggle
3. Blackburn & Darwen


Sunday 25, 17:01:51

Championship Section:

8. Wingates (Paul Andrews)

If only, if only. A super interpretation from the MD sought the very heart of the composer's intentions — and despite the noticeable fragilities and occasional small mishaps that was never lost from first bar until the last.

It made for an engaging, if occasional messy performance, but one that always kept your interest and had a sense of ultimate destination. The triumphant close that built in drama and passion saw it come off despite a few flying edges.


Sunday 25, 16:55:56

Championship Section:

7. Longidge (Mark Peacock)

The latest in a line of frustrating performances that have certainly held the promise of much but have ultimately failed to deliver. You could feel this getting away form the band almost from the word go.

MD laid out his reading with sympathetic insight of the composer's intentions, but the high error count and some clumsy ensemble playing took the gloss off the evidence of the solid prep work. The central section was phrased with touching elegance, but then the ride for home was roughshod stuff. The triumphant close had impact, but what about what went on before?


Sunday 25, 16:44:03

Result:

Second Section:

Pavilion Theatre
Adjudicators: Tom Davoren and Derek Southcott

1. Middleton (Kevin Gibbs)
2. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)
3. Flixton (Ian Brownbill)
4. Old Hall Brass (John North)
5. Besses o'th'Barn (Trevor Halliwell)
6. Marple (Stephen Curtis)
7. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
8. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
9. Pemberton Old Wigan DW 'B' (Mike Golding)
10. Blackpool Brass (John Pearson)
11. Eagley (Chris Wormald)
12. Formby (Louise Hough MBE)
13. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
14. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)
15. Besses Boys (James Holt)
16. Whitworth Vale & Healey (Chris Binns)
17. Horwich RMI (Matt Ryan)
18. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)
19. Delph (Phil Goodwin)
20. Darwen Brass (Gordon Clough)
21. Trinity Girls (David Ashworth)

Best Trombones: Bollington
Best Percussion: Besses Boys


Sunday 25, 16:38:35

Second Section:

Could Haydock be celebrating in the winner's enclosure?

It's been a very enjoyable contest here today with the bands all managing to bring something out of a score that rested them but allowed just enough leeway for expression.

There was some fantastic solo playing too — and the MDs all deserve credit for their approaches.

For us though it was Haydock that just appealed the most from excellent accounts from Flixton, Delph, Besses Boys, Pemberton and Middleton. Watch out for the dark horses of Bollington, Valley Brass (Haydock) and Whitworth Vale & Healey.

1. Haydock
2. Flixton
3. Delph
4. Besses Boys
5. Pemberton
6. Middleton


Sunday 25, 16:38:32

Second Section:

Could Haydock be celebrating in the winner's enclosure?

It's been a very enjoyable contest here today with the bands all managing to bring something out of a score that rested them but allowed just enough leeway for expression.

There was some fantastic solo playing too — and the MDs all deserve credit for their approaches.

For us though it was Haydock that just appealed the most from excellent accounts from Flixton, Delph, Besses Boys, Pemberton and Middleton. Watch out for the dark horses of Bollington, Valley Brass (Haydock) and Whitworth Vale & Healey.

1. Haydock
2. Flixton
3. Delph
4. Besses Boys
5. Pemberton
6. Middleton


Sunday 25, 16:31:30

First Section:

Slow burner…..

Six gone in the First Section and its been a bit of a slow burner so far. Haslingden was never really in tip top form despite the bold approach whilst Freckleton was a little forthright at times, but had the quality and just leads from Diggle. Mossley, opted for a more controlled reading which could appeal in the box….

Top 3

1. Freckleton
2. Diggle
3. Mossley


Sunday 25, 16:31:05

Championship Section:

Foden's steam ahead towards hat-trick Odyssey...

It has been a lesson in how to win a brass band contest here from Foden's — and a timely reminder of just how good Prof Nicholas Childs has been at doing it over the years.

Their performance had all his hallmarks — clarity, precision, detail and next to no mistakes. It may not have been to everyone's musical tastes but it was a class part here surely.

Fairey and Garry Cutt was wonderfully sympathetic to the composer's musical intent, but didn't have the same degree of precision in delivering it. After that it is a toss up from a number of disappointing performances.

1. Foden's
2. Fairey


Sunday 25, 16:21:30

Championship Section:

6. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)

Another malleable, but slightly curious approach this that took noticeable risks with the tempos both broadly and in bar by bar microcosm.

As as result it lost its flow in places and placed stress on solo lines in the lyrical central section in particular. The flying section was controlled, but as a result not really of sparkling clarity. The final section was the best — bold, dramatic and with an arching line of substance that reached a purposeful fulfilment — although the last note fell away. Left you scratching your head a bit this.


Sunday 25, 16:00:09

Championship Section:

5. Foden's (Prof Nicholas Childs)

A journey from darkness into light that was illuminated with such clarity of purpose and detail that the final destination of triumphant salvation was never in doubt. You could almost feel the bar lines in the opening section such was purposefulness of the playing. This had the MDs DNA all over it.

The contrast in the lyrical section was marked even if it wasn't as malleable on reflection as you may have imagined. The final section was tremendous — crammed with Celtic drive and passion but with a razor sharp edge all the way to a stonkingly imposing close.


Sunday 25, 15:42:22

Championship Section:

4. Ashton under Lyne (Phil Chalk)

A curious one this — imaginative in approach with liberal malleability in tempos, but it never quite gelled.

The high error count also tarnished the musical picture created with care and appreciation of the composer's musical intent by the MD — the unsuccessful camouflage by the sop at the end of the cornet solo a case in point. It left you frustrated as the flow of the music meandered so nicely. The final section saw boldness and triumphalism, but it was scrappy and all a little too late.


Sunday 25, 15:39:09

First Section:

Tough early salvos in Empress Ballroom

With have heard three performances of 'Brass Metamorphosis' and the standard has not been bad at all. This is a work that takes some playing but there have been purposeful and very hardworking accounts.

Very little in it

1. Diggle
2. Manx
3. Poulton


Sunday 25, 15:34:52

Second Section:

Markers being made late in the day...

There have been a couple of markers made late ton the day here as Pemberton produced an exciting performance that had a central section of lovely delicacy and style, whilst Besses Boys displayed control and confidence from first note until last.

Marple may have suffered in comparison but it was still a well worked effort.

It's depends of course on what the judges are looking for but once again at least two bands put themselves into the reckoning.


Sunday 25, 15:25:36

Championship Section:

3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)

Endeavour, energy and eagerness by the bucketful here, but the lack of coherent control in balance was also noticeable. It was a pity as the MD drew a great deal of subtle character from the score.

When it did become less febrile the quality shone — notably the classy cornet in a lyrical section of touching beauty. When the reins were loosened again it lacked focus — inexperience showing in losing ensemble cohesion. A bold close was well handled and certainly triumphant though.


Sunday 25, 15:08:36

Championship Secton:

2. Fairey (Prof Garry Cutt)

A wonderfully cultured performance this — seeking the beating heart of the music and tapping into its pulsating rhythms and blood flow from the word go.

Odd moments of unease, but the MD has given this so much time and space that even the fastest tempos have an underlying control. Lovely cornet lead is so cultured and the music finds a sense of deep seated pathos. The final section is controlled tour de force stuff — just the odd smudge, but what fine playing that was on such a insightful reading by the MD.


Sunday 25, 14:59:44

Second Section:

Quality time and again...

We have heard three solid performances here from in contrasting styles, but each played with condolence and commitment. Delph was excellent and had a little touch of dark edge led by bass trom and Haydock match them nearly all the way — with great euph.

There was much to like about Middleton — played with a touch of fizz and clarity.

This is turning into a contest to savour at the moment.


Sunday 25, 14:50:20

Championship Section

1. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)

A spirited account from a band that is certainly showing increasing maturity under its talented MD. The hesitancy and discomfort in some of the early elements was noticeable, but it recovers thereafter. It's fleet footed when required, but a little messy though.

Super solo cornet and the slow movement was played with pathos but controlled emotion. Then it found its feet and blossomed — ending on a real note of triumphant salvation.


Sunday 25, 14:44:11

Second Section:

More quality and performances as we got to the halfway point of the contest with Bollington delivering an excellent performance of deep seated quality. Trinity just lost focus with poor intonation but still managed to deliver with a touch of aplomb

Halfway top 3:

1. Bollington
2. Valley Brass (Haydock)
3. Blackpool

Dark Horses: Formby and Whitworth


Sunday 25, 14:35:20

Draw:

First Section:

Test Piece: 'Brass Metamorphosis' — James Curnow
The Empress Ballroom
Draw: 1.00pm
Commences: Following Third Section results
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth & Glyn Williams

1. Diggle (Melvin Tay)
2. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
3. Poulton-Le-Fylde (Andrew Warriner)
4. Haslingden & Helmshore (Simon Cowen)
5. Freckleton (Paul Dalton)
6. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
7. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
8. Blackburn & Darwen (David Thornton)
9. Wardle Anderson Brass (Sean Conway)
10. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
11. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
12. Crewe Brass (Matt Pithers)
13. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)
14. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
15. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)


Sunday 25, 14:34:19

Results:

Third Section:

embedded picture
Winners Presentation: Eccleston Brass (John Wood)

Test Piece: 'Napoleon on the Alps' — Philip Harper
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Gary Davies

1. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)*
2. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)*
3. Uppermill (Dean Redfern)
4. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
5. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)
6. Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann)
7. Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)
8. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)
9. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
10. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)
11. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)
12. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)
13. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)
14. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)
15. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)
16. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)

Percussion Award: Douglas Town
*Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Sunday 25, 14:27:59

Draw:

Championship Section:

Opera House
Draw: 1.30pm (commences following results of Fourth Section)
Adjudicators: Derek Broadbent and Jim Davies

1. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
2. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
3. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
4. Ashton-under-Lyne (Phil Chalk)
5. Foden's (Prof Nicholas Childs)
6. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
7. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
8. Wingates (Paul Andrews)
9. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
10. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Stig Maersk)
11. TCTC Group (Jef Sparkes)


Sunday 25, 14:21:12

Result:

Fourth Section:

Adjudicators: Paul Holland and Brian Rostron

1. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)*
2. Sale Brass (John Anderson)*
3. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)
4. Parr St. Helens (John Ludden)
5. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)
6. BMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw (Alan Seymour)
7. Brindle (Keith Richmond)
8. Blackley (Adrian Smith)
9. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
10. Cadishead Public (David Holland)
11. Stockport Silver (Alex Parker)
12. Denton Brass (Jim Hunter)

Best Basses: Lostock Hall Memorial
Best Percussion: Lostock Hall Memorial
*Qualify for National Final at Cheltenham


Sunday 25, 13:58:29

Third Section:

The end of an enjoyable test

The first outing of Philip Harper's descriptive has certainly been enjoyable to listen to. That said, the standard has varied for ourselves, but it is Leigh Baker and Gary Davies who will make the decision of sending three contenders to Cheltenham today.

Clich' time, but there will not be much in it at the top end and a couple of bands could consider themselves

4BR Prediction:

1. Uppermill
2. Douglas Town
3. Allerton
4. Hawk Green
5. Hoover
6. City of Chester


Sunday 25, 13:49:26

Draw:

Second Section:

Pavilion Theatre
Split Draw: 10.00am and 12.15pm (commences 11.00am)
Adjudicators: Tom Davoren and Derek Southcott

1. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
2. Blackpool Brass (John Pearson)
3. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
4. Besses o'th'Barn (Trevor Halliwell)
5. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)
6. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)
7. Whitworth Vale & Healey (Chris Binns)
8. Formby (Louise Hough MBE)
9. Darwen Brass (Gordon Clough)
10. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)
11. Trinity Girls (David Ashworth)
12. Delph (Phil Goodwin)
13. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
14. Middleton (Kevin Gibbs)
15. Pemberton Old Wigan DW 'B' (Mike Golding)
16. Besses Boys (James Holt)
17. Marple (Stephen Curtis)
18. Flixton (Ian Brownbill)
19. Horwich RMI (Matt Ryan)
20. Eagley (Chris Wormald)
21. Old Hall Brass (John North)


Sunday 25, 13:41:00

Fourth Section:

World Tour brings out postcards of character from the best...

That was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday — and there was plenty of playing to put a smile on the most jaded of long haul brass band travelers faces with Rodney Newton's test-piece.

All the bands emerged with credit thanks to MDs who sought the style and character of the music.

The best for us was Sale Brass closely followed by Stacksteads and Lostock Hall Memorial — all three so well led. Just behind its Parr St Helens, Blackley and BMP Europe Ltd (Goodshaw), but it's close.

Well done to everyone though — a great choice that brought out the best in every band.

4BR Prediction:

1. Sale Brass
2. Stacksteads
3. Lostock Hall Memorial
4. Parr St Helens
5. Blackley
6. BMP Europe Ltd (Goodshaw)


Sunday 25, 13:24:16

Second Section:

Bands striving to get to Cheltenham...

The bands are really giving it their all in their bid to to get to Cheltenham — Whitworth Vale chief amongst them with a performance that will surely have them close in the mix.

Lots to enjoy with the solid virtues of Formby too — so well set out and delivered whilst Drawen had their moments but intonation may cost them.

It's still Valley, Blackpool and Whitworth for us then....

1. Valley Brass (Haydock)
2. Blackpool
3. Whitworth Vale & Healey


Sunday 25, 13:15:08

Time travel back to 2017

While you're waiting for updates, why not re-live last year's action — as it happened.

2017 North West Regional Championships — As it happened

All the action from the 2017 North West Regional Championships — as it happened. Sunday 26, 22:28:25 That brings to an end our live coverage from The Winter Gardens of the North West Regional Championships. Congratulations to all the winners and qualifiers for the National Finals and congratulations to Regional Secretary, Peter Bates and his army of volunteers.



Sunday 25, 12:52:11

Fourth Section:

More well drawn postcards to enjoy...

Another trio of nicely put together performances in the Fourth Section, with Sale Brass putting themselves right in the mix for a possible trip to Cheltenham in September with a performance old Alex Owen and the Besses Boys would have been proud off.

Parr St Helens were nearly on their coat tails and may still be in the hunt for a podium finish and Rode Hall just faded a little despite such a neatly portrayed account inspired by the MD.

A bit of a change at the top though with Sale Brass just nudging ahead of Lostock Hall for us and with a close neck and neck finish between Parr and and Blackley behind.

1. Sale Brass
2. Lostock Hall Memorial
3. Parr St Helens


Sunday 25, 12:51:36

Third Section:

Four to go on Harper's cinematic work

Twelve bands have played in the Ballroom and since our last update we have had three interesting, colourful, bold but certainly not flawless readings from Skelmersdale, Thornton Cleveleys and Pilling Jubilee that have not persuaded us to change our top three, despite fine efforts.

Four to go though on a piece that has not proved to be outside the comfort zone of the musicians here. Spies from other regions though will have identified that the work has plenty of musical traps that can catch the bands out. That's the objective of course...

Top 3:

1. Uppermill
2. Douglas Town
3. Allerton


Sunday 25, 12:48:06

Political backing...

There's plenty of support for all the bands here today but a special mention to Eccles Borough Band from Labour MP for Worsley and Eccles South, Barbara Keeley.



Sunday 25, 12:41:22

Second Section:

Bands making light work of an engaging set work...

As we said a little earlier, this has been a set work that has brought the best out of the bands here. None have been faultless, but the musical intent has been good and the style of the playing has impressed — as has some of the excellent solo playing.

Besses gave it an exciting take whilst Valley Brass (Haydock) really managed to capture the spirit of the music. Good effort too from Farnworth, but it just lost a little focus and tuning.

Time to put our head on the block then and we go for Valley Brass from Blackpool and Whitworth & Healey in what has been a great contest so far. More to come we hope too. It's very close at the top.

1. Valley Brass (Haydock)
2. Blackpool
3. Whitworth Vale & Healey


Sunday 25, 12:12:47

Third Section:

Tasty stuff either side of the comfort break

We have reached band 9 in Section Three and had a comfort break after band 8. Uppermill certainly delivered the goods (for us) on Philip Harper's work. A colourful descriptive trek that was more like over Saddleworth Moor than the Napoleonic Alps.

Hawk Green's performance straight after the break featured a lovely cornet player. Well done to you and its a show that could be knocking on the door today. Not much between any of the bands in top 4 to be honest.

Top 3:

1. Uppermill
2. Douglas Town
3. Allerton


Sunday 25, 12:06:41

Fourth Section:

Bands enjoying their trips around the globe despite the hiccups...

Well we are certainly flying through the performances here with Ramsay Town, Cadishead and Denton the latest trio to have plenty of enjoyment in writing their musical postcards. Issues of stamina and tuning and a few solo nerves in all three robbed a bit of the solidity, but each was well laid out and had warmth and character.

Still Lostock for us though with Blackley and BMP Europe Ltd (Goodshaw) as our top three.

1. Lostock Hall Memorial
2. Blackley
3. BMP Europe Ltd (Goodshaw)


Sunday 25, 11:50:03

Second Section:

Rich promise of a cracker...

It's been good stuff here in the Pavilion — which looks a Bedouin tent set out for a wedding reception. The place is packed too — so that shows that people, and players have been enjoying this test piece.

Hazel Grove set a good marker for the day and Blackpool followed it up with a really spirited effort too — full of life. Greenfield may just have been a touch hesitant to open but they really got into the pice the more it progressed.

Nip and tick here to open — reserving judgment at the moment until we've heard the next three. This could be a cracking contest.


Sunday 25, 11:26:06

Third Section:

Full Draw

Test Piece: 'Napoleon on the Alps' — Philip Harper
The Empress Ballroom
Split Draw: 8.45am & 10.45am
Commences: 9.45am
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Gary Davies

1. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
2. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)
3. Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann)
4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)
5. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
6. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)
7. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
8. Uppermill (Dean Redfern)
9. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)
10. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)
11. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)
12. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)
13. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)
14. Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)
15. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)
16. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)


Sunday 25, 11:17:45

Fourth Section:

An enjoyable trip to start the ship sailing...

The first three bands have all brought plenty of colour and character to the music here in the Opera House — each MD trying to bring out the obvious quotes and nods of appreciation.

Blackley and BMP Europe Ltd were spirited and bold, but just tired a little, whilst Lostock Hall Memorial showed their confidence with a bold account that just at times got a little fruity, but had so much style.

That one leads the way so far, but this has the making of a cracking contest if things keep going along like this.

1. Lostock Hall Memorial
2. Blackley
3. BMP Europe Ltd (Goodshaw)


Sunday 25, 11:08:30

Third Section:

Six down — enjoyable but varied

We have had heard six bands in the Empress Ballroom and its fair to say they are making a good fist of the Harper work. Some have been more colourful in their execution than others, but it is a piece that is sorting the bands out.

There is a comfort break for judges after band 8.

Very little to choose though between Douglas and Allerton with Hoover in third.

Top 3:

1. Douglas
2. Allerton
3. Hoover (Bolton)


Sunday 25, 11:08:19

Fourth Section:

Around the world in a snapshot or two...

Rodney Newton's 'World Tour' is a very enjoyable concert work that gives the listener all the stereotypical musical snapshots of that epic Besses global tour with a smile on its face from start to finish.

As a pastiche homage it's a little cracker — from the neat references to 'Abide with Me' and 'Punchinello' to a swaggering bit of Joplin ragtime the tender reflection and that Aussie finale that bounces along like a Kangaroo on a trampoline.


Sunday 25, 10:29:41

Draw:

Second Section:

Pavilion Theatre
Split Draw: 10.00am and 12.15pm (commences 11.00am)
Adjudicators: Tom Davoren and Derek Southcott

1. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
2. Blackpool Brass (John Pearson)
3. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
4. Besses o'th'Barn (Trevor Halliwell)
5. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)
6. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)
7. Whitworth Vale & Healey (Chris Binns)
8. Formby (Louise Hough MBE)
9. Darwen Brass (Gordon Clough)
10. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)
11. Trinity Girls (David Ashworth)

Besses Boys (James Holt)
Delph (Phil Goodwin)
Eagley (Chris Wormald)
Flixton (Ian Brownbill)
Haydock (Mark Quinn)
Horwich RMI (Matt Ryan)
Marple (Stephen Curtis)
Middleton (Kevin Gibbs)
Old Hall Brass (John North)
Pemberton Old Wigan DW 'B' (Mike Golding)


Sunday 25, 10:27:43

Third Section:

Early thoughts...

We have had the first three performances in the Third Section in the Empress Ballroom. It's fair to say we have had three intriguing takes on Philip Harper's cinematic tale too. It will be interesting to see what the judges think though from their elevated perch up above.

Very little to choose between Hoover (Bolton), Dobcross and Littleborough, but Hoover just got the edge for us with their colourful approach of character and drive.

1. Hoover (Bolton)
2. Dobcross
3. Littleborough


Sunday 25, 10:00:59

Draw:

Fourth Section:

Opera House
Draw: 9.30am
Commences: 10.30am
Adjudicators: Paul Holland and Brian Rostron

1. Blackley (Adrian Smith)
2. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
3. BMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw (Alan Seymour)
4. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
5. Cadishead Public (David Holland)
6. Denton Brass (Jim Hunter)
7. Sale Brass (John Anderson)
8. Parr St. Helens (John Ludden)
9. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)
10. Brindle (Keith Richmond)
11. Stockport Silver (Alex Parker)
12. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)


Sunday 25, 09:43:44

Third Section

Off we go...

So here we go then. A highly competitive day in Blackpool starts here. Enjoy yourselves, that's why you partake in this musical pastime.

Good luck everyone


Sunday 25, 09:33:01

Third Section:

Draw

Test Piece: 'Napoleon on the Alps' — Philip Harper
The Empress Ballroom
Split Draw: 8.45am & 10.45am
Commences: 9.45am
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker & Gary Davies

1. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
2. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)
3. Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann)
4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)
5. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
6. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)
7. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
8. Uppermill (Dean Redfern)

Other competing bands

City of Chester (Ewan Easton)
Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)
Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)
Hoover Bolton (Craig Mann)
Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)
Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)
Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)
Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)


Sunday 25, 09:10:06

Train disruptions...

As usual, there's the usual train disruptions...

Train disruptions for Blackpool

If you're travelling to Blackpool by train for the North West Regional Championships this weekend, then make sure you give yourselves plenty of time to get there. Planned engineering work on the train line between Preston and Blackpool North means that anyone travelling to Blackpool for the North West Regional Championships this weekend will need to give themselves extra time to get there.



Sunday 25, 09:05:54

Looking to create a bit of magic...

embedded picture

Last weekend the Winter Gardens hosted the 66th Annual Magic Convention — over 8,000 magicians, assistants and fans from all around the world enjoying displays of misdirection, sleight of hand, rewritten trickery and down right 'you cannot be serious' moments of the absurd and dangerous.

There was even a 'Sooty Magic Lecture'....

They should have all stayed on for an extra week then....


Sunday 25, 08:56:16

Preview coverage

So while you're waiting, read our preview coverage and see if you agree with we've tipped to win.

2018 North West Regional Championships — Preview & Predictions

The first Area contest weekend of the year sees a Sunday battle for qualification at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. The first of over 500 competitive qualification performances around the country will be heard at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool this weekend, as 74 bands battle for an invitation to compete at the National Finals in Cheltenham and London.



Sunday 25, 08:47:15

Good morning from Blackpool

Good morning from Blackpool where the 4BR team is already here as the contest organisers do all the last minute setting up before the sections start in around an hours time.

The Third Section is the first to start at 9.45am and we will post the draws just before the start.


Saturday 24, 20:26:05

Runners & Riders:

Championship Section:

Opera House
Draw: 1.30pm (commences following results of Fourth Section)
Adjudicators: Derek Broadbent and Jim Davies

1. Ashton-under-Lyne (Phil Chalk)
2. Fairey (Garry Cutt)
3. Foden's (Prof Nicholas Childs)
4. Leyland (Thomas Wyss)
5. Longridge (Mark Peacock)
6. Milnrow (Mark Bentham)
7. Pemberton Old Wigan DW (Ben Dixon)
8. Rainford (Gareth Brindle)
9. TCTC Group (Jef Sparkes)
10. Vernon Building Society Poynton (Stig Mærsk)
11. Wingates (Paul Andrews)

First Section:

The Empress Ballroom
Draw: 1.00pm (commences following the results of the Third Section)
Adjudicators: Sarah Groarke-Booth and Glyn Williams

1. Blackburn & Darwen (David Thornton)
2. Boarshurst Silver (James Garlick)
3. Cheshire Constabulary (David Woollam)
4. Crewe Brass (Matt Pithers)
5. Diggle (Steven Walsh)
6. Eccles Borough (Mareika Gray)
7. Freckleton (Paul Dalton)
8. Haslingden & Helmshore (Simon Cowen)
9. Manx Concert Brass (Ian Clague MBE)
10. Mossley (Duncan Byers)
11. Oldham (Lees) (John Collins)
12. Poulton-le-Fylde (Andrew Warriner)
13. Roberts Bakery (Paul Lovatt-Cooper)
14. Silk Brass (Tony Wyatt)
15. Wardle Anderson Brass (Sean Conway)

Second Section:

Pavilion Theatre
Split Draw: 10.00am and 12.15pm (commences 11.00am)
Adjudicators: Tom Davoren and Derek Southcott

1. Besses Boys (James Holt)
2. Besses o’ th’ Barn (Trevor Halliwell)
3. Blackpool Brass (John Pearson)
4. Bollington Brass (Peter Christian)
5. Darwen Brass (Gordon Clough)
6. Delph (Phil Goodwin)
7. Eagley (Chris Wormald)
8. Farnworth & Walkden (Luke Pallister)
9. Flixton (Ian Brownbill)
10. Formby (Louise Hough MBE)
11. Greenfield (Tom Haslam)
12. Haydock (Mark Quinn)
13. Hazel Grove (Nigel Beasley)
14. Horwich RMI (Matt Ryan)
15. Marple (Stephen Curtis)
16. Middleton (Kevin Gibbs)
17. Old Hall Brass (John North)
18. Pemberton Old Wigan DW ‘B’ (Mike Golding)
19. Trinity Girls (David Ashworth)
20. Valley Brass (Haydock) (David Chadwick)
21. Whitworth Vale & Healey (Chris Binns)

Third Section:

The Empress Ballroom
Split Draw: 8.45am & 10.45am
Commences: 9.45am
Adjudicators: Leigh Baker and Gary Davies

1. Allerton Brass (Adam Taylor)
2. City of Chester (Ewan Easton)
3. Dobcross Silver (Grenville Moore)
4. Douglas Town (Ken Mitchell)
5. Eccleston Brass (John Wood)
6. Golborne Brass (Matthew Shaw)
7. Greenalls (Phil Boardman)
8. Hawk Green (Neil Hewson)
9. Hoover (Bolton) (Craig Mann)
10. Littleborough (Adrian Woodhead)
11. Pilling Jubilee Silver (Steve Hartley)
12. Rivington & Adlington (Malcolm Wilson)
13. Skelmersdale Prize (James Hall)
14. Stalybridge Old (David W. Ashworth)
15. Thornton Cleveleys (Stephen Craig)
16. Uppermill (Dean Redfern)

Fourth Section:

Opera House
Draw: 9.30am
Commences: 10.30am
Adjudicators: Paul Holland and Brian Rostron

1. Blackley (Adrian Smith)
2. BMP Europe Ltd. Goodshaw (Alan Seymour)
3. Brindle (Keith Richmond)
4. Cadishead Public (David Holland)
5. Denton Brass (Jim Hunter)
6. Lostock Hall Memorial (Joshua Hughes)
7. Parr St. Helens (John Ludden)
8. Ramsey Town (Robert Quane)
9. Rode Hall Silver (Nigel Butler)
10. Sale Brass (John Anderson)
11. Stacksteads (Fred Bowker)
12. Stockport Silver (Alex Parker)



The Marple Band - The Marple Band presents Music from Musicals

Saturday 23 June • Stockport Grammar School. Buxton Road. Stockport SK2 7AF


Elland Silver Band - Elland Silver Band

Saturday 23 June • Blackley Blackley Church Prospect View Elland HX5 0TD


Blidworth Welfare Band - Organist Keith Hearnshaw

Saturday 23 June • St Andrews Church, The Green, Swanwick, Derbys DE55 1AN


Besses o' th' Barn Band - Charity Celebration Concert

Saturday 23 June • St Thomas Church, Warrington Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield WN4 9PL


York Railway Institute Band - Dan Thomas - Euphonium

Saturday 23 June • Central Methodist Church. St Saviourgate. York. YO1 8NQ YO1 8NQ


Frampton on Severn Silver Band

June 22 • We are a friendly non-contesting band in Gloucestershire looking for players, particularly cornets, baritone and basses, but all are welcome. We play at many local events and bandstand jobs, and practice on Tuesday evenings just off Junction 13 of the M5.


Crewe Brass

June 22 • Crewe Brass currently have vacancies for Eb and BBb Bass, Baritone, and Cornet. We are a friendly, social first section band with a good mix of concerts and contests, and rehearse on Monday and Friday evenings in Shavington, Crewe.


Lydbrook Band

June 22 • Lydbrook Band are recruiting a 2nd Trombone to our join our Championship section band . This is a great opportunity to be part of the premier band in the Royal Forest of Dean.


Neil Samuel


Conductor