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Take 5
Best Concerts of 2018

Five of the best concerts we got to hear in 2018...

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It’s not just the concert stage that that bands excelled on during 2018.

Here are five concerts that made the biggest impression on our reviewers throughout the year.


Cory

Cory Band
2018 RNCM Brass Band Festival
Conductor: Philip Harper
Soloist: Tom Hutchinson
RNCM Manchester
Sunday 28th January


The annual RNCM Brass Band Festival remains the most important showcase for brass band repertoire in the world – and this concert given by the world’s number 1 ranked ensemble emphasized that more than anything else.

Artistic Director Paul Hindmarsh asks a great deal of the performers in delivering major works that cover the past, present and future of brass band composition – and that understanding was distilled to its very essence with Cory’s programme.
 
Works by Derek Bourgeois (with a stunning rendition of his ‘Cornet Concerto’ by Tom Hutchinson), Christopher Bond and Philip Harper surrounded the world premiere of ‘Rain, Steam, Speed’ by John Pickard.   

Artistic Director Paul Hindmarsh asks a great deal of the performers in delivering major works that cover the past, present and future of brass band composition – and that understanding was distilled to its very essence with Cory’s programme.

Inspired by the metaphorical response of the artist J.M.W Turner to the relentless, ever-quickening speed of the industrial revolution as seen through the prism a steam train literally haring down a track, the ambiguities of the laws of physics and nature made for a totally engrossing listening experience.  

Read the review: https://www.4barsrest.com/reviews/concerts/con2139.asp


Tubular

Tubular Brass
Conductor: Sandy Smith
Featuring: Hannah Peel (synthesizers)
Queen Elizabeth Hall
Saturday 14th April

Tubular Brass hasn’t quite yet fully engaged with hardcore Mike Oldfield fans and aficionados, but it’s getting there.

It was always going to be more difficult to achieve than the fun-filled excess of ‘Acid Brass’ - as the intricacies and difficulties of bringing to the stage an arrangement of one of the most iconic albums of the 1970s seemed an almost impossible task. 

This concert was given right in the heart of the capital - and as a result attracted a cosmopolitan audience, obviously keen, as well as a bit sceptical, about what they were to hear.

Sandy Smith and the team have given it one heck of a go though. 

This concert was given right in the heart of the capital - and as a result attracted a cosmopolitan audience, obviously keen, as well as a bit sceptical, about what they were to hear.  

They left impressed as well as entertained - especially as the encore was the hipster’s perennial favourite of choice, ‘Life on Mars’ by David Bowie.    

Read the review: https://www.4barsrest.com/reviews/concerts/con2153.asp


Chanel

Manger Musikklag
Nr 5 - A Story about Coco Chanel
Conductor: Allan Withington
Featuring: Open Window Theatre & Langhaugen Danselinje
Fana Kulturhus
Bergen
Saturday 26th May


Allan Withington’s remarkable production - ambitiously weaving together the complexities and contradictions of the life of the enigmatic fashion designer Coco Chanel and distilled into musical scent as intoxicating as her most famous perfume, gained richly deserved critical acclaim.

Bringing together a brass band, dance ensemble and a brace of lugubriously masked puppeteers as Swiss bankers was inventive enough in terms of presentation.

However, it was the way in which an ultimately tragic tale of isolated passion was told with acerbic wit balanced by heart wrenching pathos and relevant immediacy that grabbed you by the throat from start to finish.

However, it was the way in which an ultimately tragic tale of isolated passion was told with acerbic wit balanced by heart wrenching pathos and relevant immediacy that grabbed you by the throat from start to finish.

Read the review: https://www.4barsrest.com/reviews/concerts/con2163.asp


Footscray

The Silent Anzac
Footscray-Yarraville City Band
Conductor: Phillipa Edwards
Featuring: Jamie Lawson; William McInnes; Margaret Haggart, Danielle Matthews & Joe Stanley
Australia House
London
Sunday 11th November


There have been many moving and memorable concerts given throughout the banding world in 2018 to mark the end of the First World War and the sacrifice given by so many in lands far from their home.

This one was particularly poignant and personal – starting with the discovery of an old bass drum in the bandroom of Footscray-Yaraville City Band.

This one was particularly poignant and personal – starting with the discovery of an old bass drum in the bandroom of Footscray-Yaraville City Band.

As vividly pertinent and powerful in 2018 in its message of loss and hope as it was a century ago - it formed part of a much larger tour of remembrance and commemoration undertaken by the band - one that spanned the globe.

Read the review: https://www.4barsrest.com/reviews/concerts/con2217.asp


Ford

Brass in Concert Gala Concert
Foden's Band
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Featuring: Matt Ford & Mike Lovatt
Sage Gateshead 
Saturday 17th November

At a time when brass bands are finding it increasingly difficult to attract new audiences, Foden’s musical links to Big Band singer Matt Ford as well as the renowned trumpeter Mike Lovatt have been a remarkable success.

This concert, traditionally promoted as a showcase aperitif to the Brass in Concert contest also saw a brave change in emphasis by the organisers too - deliberately trying to engage with a new musical audience that has little particular interest in hearing brass bands in competition mode.

More like this and the audience will grow and grow to everyone’s benefit.

It wasn’t packed out – but those who did attend enjoyed an invigorating occasion - superbly presented and performed. 

More like this and the audience will grow and grow to everyone’s benefit.

Read the review: https://www.4barsrest.com/reviews/concerts/2223.asp

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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.


Gary Davies


Conductor, Band Trainer, Adjudicator