Comments ~ 2002: September (Part 2)


Comments from September 2002 - Part 2

Happy Birthday
The City of Chester Band is celebrating its 150th birthday next year (the 100th was held in 1953!). It would be great to hear from anyone who has experience of a similar celebration year.... what sort of events, activities, publicity, etc worked. What didn't! We've got a Cathedral concert in the diary for Oct 18th 2003, and are partnering with a charity for the year, as well as looking at holding a series of community workshops.... any thoughts?

We've a main and training band, and currently compete in the 3rd section. ( We've also a hole in the band room roof, so some fund raising will be useful!

Ian Clowes

4BR Reply:
Any ideas anyone What about approaching those nice people about some of that hard earned £125 million that could be available? Any advice please let Ian know

Brainwashing old farts
Firstly, nice job reporting the open. The live reports are really quite handy to have, especially when you're drawn early.

Now.... a few comments on the music. Like so many others, I didn't enjoy playing or listening to the piece. I must say, the two weeks leading to the contest were undoubtedly the most miserable I've spent banding. The general attitude of almost everyone coming out of rehearsal was negative to say the least. No doubt the piece was well constructed musically and I knew it actually 'grew' on some people in the audience but the piece wasn't really appealing... to anyone. And no, the quiet ending had nothing to do with it.... Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Tallis... quality pieces without massive endings.

Personally I think it was down right rude to call people 'old farts' for not liking the piece. You were defending the piece even before the contest started! Why did you do this? Did you think that convincing people it was good before they heard it would brain wash them into liking it on the day? Did you indeed know that people wouldn't like it and that's why you tried to convince them otherwise? I think you should give a review of the piece and keep your opinions to yourselves mainly. If the piece is controversial (like Spectrum was for instance) then cover this point, but don't try to make people feel bad about themselves if they don't like it.

Gareth Westwood

4BR Reply:
There was nothing personal about out our "Old Farts" quip Gareth. We used it in general terms to try and describe those people who would have taken an instant dislike to the music because it didn't conform to their idea of what constitutes a "traditional" test piece.

Nearly all the people who have written to us stating they didn't like the piece have done so in a constructive well thought out manner, giving a cogent opinion to why they disliked it – this is not old fart territory. We did the same – only we stated we liked it, and gave our reasons why, before and after.

Torquay Opinions - 1
Many thanks for your 'live' coverage of the finals at Torquay. Your comments have been most interesting and amusing at times - I have been 'glued' to the pc until very late at night waiting for the results

Gary Greenstock

Torquay Opinions - 2
What fantastic coverage of the national's guys, humour, fact and superb style. Thanx a lot, it made my weekend.

Lyndon Price
MD Abergavenny borough

Torquay Opinions – 3
I think your remarks were very harsh and lacked any sensitivity or balance. Secondly, I don't think that the MD's clothing should have been commented on, as this has no bearing on how the band played or how they are marked. The reputation of your site has been damaged as we look to you for informed insight into the world of brass. THINK BEFORE YOU POST!

Clayton MacLean (not calyton !!!! as in the preview piece)
Solo Euphonium

4BR Reply:
Sorry Clayton! We did meet up with the great bunch of people from your band (Yiewsley and District) as well as the MD and they took our remarks in the way in which they were made – with a laugh and a smile. We stick by our remarks – we think they are fair (if a bit different granted) so please don't take them too seriously. Your delightful MD took our fashion advice in the way in which it was intended as well – he just laughed his socks off!

Torquay Opinion – 4
It is with great interest that I log onto your internet site for news of the U.K. Brass Band scene. Living in Thailand it is great to see. I was involved in Brass Bands for over 40 years (as the song goes) as a player, conductor and Official at both Association and National Regional Level. I was amazed, no absolutely disgusted to see on your site that the results of the 3rd Section were not given till 12-30am, what were the organisers thinking? If this is a sign of the British Federations organisation, then it's time for another re-think as to who should be running these events. I can't think of a National Final event concluding at such a late hour...

Brian Draper

4BR Reply:
Got to agree with you Brian – the whole episode was a "Balls Up" of Millennium Dome proportions! The BFBB go it badly wrong with the timings (see our retrospective report for the full story), but at least they did have the guts to stand up and say they cocked it up there and then. Others we know are not as quick! However, this has severely damaged their reputation and they will have to work very hard to restore it back in time for Dundee 2003.

Torquay Opinion – 5
I really suggest you employ someone who knows what they are taking about when passing comments on such things as tuning and style. As these comments are a far cry from the OFFICIAL adjudicators remarks. As for dress remarks these can be very offensive.

Mr M Mayo (a bandsman)

4BR Reply:
We thought that was the whole point about them Mr Mayo! (some of the dress senses are offensive!)

Torquay Opinion - 6
Just wanted to clarify that the mobile phone that went off during Raunds Temperance Bands performance was not a supporter of the band, and I have no idea how this conclusion was made. Is there not a rule that says mobiles shouldn't even be allowed in the auditorium?

Sam (Raunds Temperance)

4BR Reply:
Thanks for putting us straight Sam. Apologies to the band for getting it wrong about the mobile phone going off during your performance – we honestly thought it came from the ranks of your supporters, but we were wrong! Pass on our regards to the band and congratulations for the result – you created history a bit at Torquay when you went on stage one day and came off the next!

As for the mobile phones – Why do people need to take them into a concert hall in the first place? They are most annoying inventions of the 20th century!

Torquay Opinions - 7
Thanks guys for your coverage of the nationals. Your up to speed, and fantastic comments about the bands, have really made my weekend, as I could not go this year because it was just too far.

James Paul

Torquay Opinions - 8
I'm sure this won't be the first or the last on this topic but I thought that the 3rd section finals where on Saturday last week not Sunday morning !!!!!! What clown organised the lower section finals are we all to spend months wrestling with our instruments and conductors hold jumble sales raffles etc to prepare and fund our trip to the national finals to find out that the organisers couldn't organise a Pi%* in a brewery thanks guys!

Myself I was lucky we played in the first section drawn 8 and played around 8pm as luck would have it but as a bandsman I did feel for the very young members of the third section that where hanging around the hall until the small hours of Sunday morning I must also note that the organisers have done a brilliant job of devaluing the lower section finals – in fact if you do really well at the area next spring and play very well you could win the opportunity to spend a weekend and very late nights in Dundee!!!!!! ( no offence to Dundee )

Come on guys lets get all back to London on the same day !!!! it wasn't broke why did you try and fix it you've managed to for bands what Colonel Sanders has done for chickens

David Coleman
City of Coventry Brass

4BR Reply:
Got to agree with just about everything David – We have made our opinions felt and we can only hope the concerns and well-merited criticisms are taken on board by the BBFBB. If they do not then we could all be in for a dreadful Dundee!

Torquay Opinions - 9
Great site, and enjoyed a brief meeting with you guys yesterday in Torquay.

Don't mind you having a laugh about my light sabre and jacket but my name is Simon Wood not Ward!!!!!

Keep up the great work and keep up the humour.

Simon Wood
Hade Edge Band
(Hungover National Champions)

4BR Reply:
Thanks Simon and congratulations from 4BR for the win – It was brilliant stuff. If I was you, I wouldn't worry what you were called – as long as you keep winning who cares?

Torquay Opinions - 10
I have a couple of comments / queries following the National Finals which I was privileged to take part in last weekend....

1. While I appreciate the 'service' you seek to give in commenting on the performance of bands 'as it happens', do you not consider that this may influence the outcome. Our band performed quite early on but within about an hour or so we were telephoned by a colleague at home to be regaled with your {adverse} comments. Presumably other bands could have the same access and so your comments (which in our case differed somewhat from the adjudicators') could have influenced the way succeeding bands presented
their performance - maybe helping them or maybe terrifying them but either way, potentially giving them an advantage over the first few bands.

2. Just how 'closed' is the adjudication? When I sat at the rear of the auditorium listening to other bands, I could plainly see through the curtains of the adjudicators 'tent' and make out their table, lamp and their shadows moving about. Remembering the 'net curtain' effect where one can easily see out whilst no-one can see in, it occurs to me that it must be possible for the adjudicators to at least make out the uniforms of the band performing on the brightly lit stage..... Whilst I don't disagree with the adjudicator's comments for my own band, I did find the placing of some others very hard to understand!

Ian Wright

4BR Reply:
Do you honestly think our comments would in any way influence an MD into changing his interpretation of how his band is going to play – or even strike terror into the heart of any players? Woweee – but we don't think so…. But we can dream

As for the "closed adjudication" on the day – it seemed that the tent did it's job. The lighting inside will always make it appear that the judges can look out, but that's deceptive and anyway, how would Goff Richards and the rest know what band is playing from the colour of their uniforms? They are not that much of anoraks to know bands apart by that method are they?
Torquay Opinions - 11

Many, Many thanks for a great coverage of the 2002 Torquay Finals. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL CONCERNED

Keith Stanley James Lever

I was just wondering if all bands are included when considering your rankings. I.e. I noticed Abergavenny and Ashton-under-Lyne were on here but Thomas Coaches Mid Rhonda weren't; yet they beat them at the Nationals??? How is this?

Gareth Young

4BR Reply:
Patience young man!! All will be revealed this coming week when the new 4BR Rankings are released – Tune in!!

Torquay Opinions - 12
I have just read your live update on the second section finals 2002. I am the principal euphonium player of the Rhyl Silver Band, my name is Mathew Stenson and I am 16 years of age. I would like to thank you for your very kind comment about me being the star player in the band and being a very competent player.

I would like to ask you who wrote the comment about me, and if it would be possible to pass on some more comments on my performance.

I would also be grateful if you could tell me who you think the best principal euphonium player in the second section was and if you think that Rhyl deserved
to be played 17th or whether you think they should have been placed higher.

Mathew Stenson

4BR Reply:
Well done Matt. We couldn't possibly reveal our source – although if you add up the clues it was only one of three culprits! Me, Anthony or John! It was well deserved though – and that goes for everyone we picked out – there was terrific playing from players in all sections. As for the best? Again, it would unfair to comment, but there are some tasty euph players out there. As for Rhyl – don't let the result get you down – at least you got to the Finals – and there are plenty of bands who would have loved to have been there instead of you.

Just wondering if there was a possibility of adding a "classifieds" board to the site, where anyone could either advertise or advertise for any instruments. Great site, keep up the good work.

Kev Mann

4BR Reply:
It's coming Kev – give us a few weeks and there will be a brand new section up and running – and a section of classified ads like no other, giving the bands the chance to update, amend and change what ever they want, whenever they want for their fee. Should be interesting, but it's bloody complex to set up, so bear with us a bit longer.

Torquay Opinions – 13
Considering that the organisers have had about 100 years to perfect things, I can only say the only word that springs to mind about this years timings is Farcical.

I'm not a mathematician but I do know that if it takes approximately 10 hours to do the finals at the Albert Hall with 20 bands competing, how on earth did they expect to get through 2 sections with approx 20 bands in each respectively. Surely there was more than 1 suitable venue on the English Riviera to hold such a prestigious contest. We were in the 1st section and had expected things to be wrapped up by about 7.00pm followed by a long coach trip back to Gateshead.

We didn't actually get on stage till 8.30 (draw 13) and with the last band taking the stage at 11.00pm the drivers tachometer was well over their allocated 22 hours. Several frantic phone calls later, the drivers were told they could wait for us but at a cost of an extra £600. Who may I ask is going to pay that?

Come on you organisers and get it right for next years long trip to Dundee. I'm sure those bands on the south coast doesn't want to end up in the predicament we were in! and by the way we were placed 8th!

Steve Perry

4BR Reply:
See our reply to some of the letters above Steve – we can't agree with you more. As for the extra costs – can we suggest you write to the BFBB and see what they say? Was there any way in which travel insurance or some form of liability insurance could cover this?? It's a long shot, but it is worth asking – they are there to help the band aren't they?

Torquay Opinions – 14
Just to say thank you for all your hard work.

I arrived home from Torquay at 6.30pm after an 8-hour coach journey from Torquay, turned on the PC, and there you were, results, draw, and observations.

Great stuff boys, very entertaining. I know it's hard graft, but it is appreciated. (Even when you're biased and controversial!!!!!!)

Ian C. Wilkinson

4BR Reply:
Thanks Ian. Us - controversial? Whatever can you mean?

CD Service – Grand Canary style!
Many thanks for the excellent CD and quick service. Its arrival (in Grand Canary) coincided with that of my trombone (only been here for a month), so a lot happier now!

No brass bands found out here yet, don't know how many practises an astronomy student would be able to make though - I'm spending half of my year studying at around 8000ft and the rest trying to get uni projects handed in on time!

Colin Davenport

4BR Reply:
Thanks Colin – nice to know there is a bandsman just about anywhere in the World!

Torquay Opinions - 15
Having just read your comments on the performances of the bands in the Second Section at Torquay, I just wish you had been in the box! Following my last e-mail in which I gave some background information on Rhyl Silver Band, it now appears that we have earned the nickname 'Lame Horse' rather than 'Dark Horse'!!

However, we feel we put up a creditable performance and if it was only good enough to earn us last place then congratulations to all the other bands who must all have played really well. I look forward to seeing your own results - perhaps we will have earned a few more places! Finally, I would just like to thank the members of Lancashire Life Morecombe who joined us in a friendly sing-song on the Sunday afternoon (no, we were not being lager louts and there was not a swear word to be heard in the singing) and who also commiserated with us after the results.

Val Hughes
Secretary Rhyl Silver

4BR Reply:
That's the spirit of banding (or lack of it – in drinking terms that is). Nice to see two bands having a great time – even without alcohol. As for us being in the box – don't think we'll ever get the invite. Do you?

Return to the Open
Having played at the Open and take a great deal of interest in banding I take a great interest in what you and the rest of the banding press have to say. Who won and in other people's words who should have won does not bother me in the slightest. I am currently studying music at university and a centre point of this study includes the reaction to contemporary brass band music by all in and out of the banding culture.

I agree with everything you have said before and after the contest, although getting an accurate percentage would have been easy with the amount of people who were there. My own family were split between whether they liked the piece or not, and they have very similar tastes in music. Having read all the comments and interviewed a fair number of people myself on the day, I think there is, as there has always been a wide divide in musical taste.

It was evident from the results of my interviews that the classifying of people as "old farts" is not true age wise, although maybe in character and taste. I appreciate the opinions of those who don't like new music, or more accurately pieces in this style and don't wish to be educated at brass band contests but times change. The question is what are contests for? The brass band fanatic, the casual listener, the player, the conductor or all the above? People who wish to be entertained have their rights and we should covet the audiences as much as possible, but where do we draw the line?

Should all contest pieces be tuneful, predictive, pyrotechnical and emotionally involving ? What about the feeling of those younger players who come through the ranks of education fully appreciating the wide variety of styles and playing methods of other music ranging from the classical aspects (i.e Renaissance through to Minimalism ) or the variety that jazz can offer (i.e ragtime through to avantgarde and modernism ). Can players be motivated to perfrom the same old pieces, wham bam endings and solos at every contest when to be perfectly honest you can hear them in more detail at every concert that every band will play throughout a year. The contest is set up to show the technical AND musical side of players, to compare and contrast those bands who give a wholy musical performance ( be they one of the top bands or one of the lesser bands) and THIRDLY, contests are there for the audience to APPRECIATE the two aspects above.

A person listening to a Mahler symphony or Night in Tunisia with Wynton Marsalis would not walk out of a performance without appreciating the effort that those performers had given. Yet at band contests audiences turn up to listen to certain bands, NOT the performances of a brilliantly constructed piece of music. Had the competition not had the top 7 bands I think no one would have turned up, surely the support that banding culture in general needs is for those bands who put loads of effort in and at a financial lost go to the contests. Just because they don't have a big name and tradition does not mean that they cannot perform a piece of music beautifully and surely if you are a player there is nothing more off putting than a herd of people rushing out of the hall after the last big band. How is that helping the banding movement?

If people who claim they are band enthusiasts and want to be entertained why don't a higher percentage of them stay in to listen to all the bands instead of the best six or seven. As for the piece, am I wrong in saying that many pieces on their premiere's have been disliked and yet a few years later they are readily accepted into the repertoire, for example Contest Music took about ten years to be accepted. By no means is this is a stigma only attached to brass bands, imagine the people who hurled abuse at Stravinsky when his Firebird was premiered in France, or Shoshtakovich with his 4th Symphony ( which also began quiet and finished quite!!) which was banned by the authorities because they couldn't understand it. In conclusion, I hope that the organisers have the courage to continue with new music and not suppress or dumb down new things that people simply don't want to make the effort to understand!!

Richard Jones

P.S As for the need for clarity by the adjudicators of how they got to the result. Does it matter, it's their opinion and in the end people are going to disagree whatever they result. So are audiences there to appreciate music or are some of them there to be amateur adjudicators? Tempo markings ? It doesn't matter. Music is more than tempo markings, so much much more!!

4BR Reply:
Plenty for everyone to get their teeth into here Richard. Plenty of well though out points and something to chew over. Will peoples perceptions of a brass band contest ever change though? Without practical changes to the structures, then the same opinions about contests worth will remain.

Any Peter Graham fans out there?
Hello I was hoping you could help me. At the moment I am studying music at English Martyrs 6th form in Hartlepool, and for my coursework I've decided to study Peter Graham's piece 'windows of the world'. Unfortunately, which being able to get the music and the score, I can't find anything about Peter Graham at all. Now, I was hoping you could point me in the right direction, if it be website, or even a way I could contact him to ask him some questions myself.

Also, is there any contests coming up where they will play this piece? My mam and dad play in Fishburn band, so I'll be able to go to these. Please contact me asap as this is A Level coursework, and a big part of the course. Thanks!!!

Alison Gill.

4BR Reply:
Anyone out there help?

Any ideas?


4BR Reply:
No. We don't know what you are on about either Lorry……..

Torquay Opinions – 16
Ok Ok Ok,

I know I'm going to kick myself whilst I wait for the barrage of insults the subject title will bring. And yes, the band in question is a 4th section band. (Note: I didn't say just a 4th Section band) And yes the trip from Nottingham to Torquay is considerably less than others. Ok I think I've pre-answered all the immediate questions you may ask.

I recently was invited to accompany the Long Eaton Silver Prize Band to Torquay for the Nationals, for my sins I am their Vice President but not active more voted in absence. Now in March after the elation of qualification, the reality kicked in, the sums were added up and the blood drained from the treasurer's chequebook. £4000 was the closest estimate. Not a fortune but not insurmountable. But a £150 approx per playing member for the weekend.

So they looked at their options. Selling their bodies for cash wouldn't have raised much more than £50 and 10 pence, and everyone gave 10pence. So they decided to spend the next 6 months in solid, grafting fundraising. They played concerts, had socials, received small (and I mean small, but not ungrateful awards) from local community projects and companies, plus a gift of T-shirts from a McDonalds in Beeston, so they look smart in Walking out mode. And in the end they whittled down the sum to a manageable contribution from everyone in the band. Why do this, well the band has 9 members from one family to cover the cost of, 4 from another, plus a number of school or uni students, who need to keep as much cash as possible for cheap lager and kebabs, so fundraising was necessary to ensure everyone in the Band could go.

The point of this story, never once in the brass band press did you hear of anything but their undying determination to go to this contest. Not going was never considered an option. It is the first time in 36 years they qualified and they were going if it killed them.

I am biased I'll admit, cos the band is conducted by my very dear friend Sharon, and a number of my close friends play in this band also. Plus also some new found friends as a result of the weekend. But their unflagging determination to go, has kept them on a high throughout. Sadly they came somewhat undeservedly 18th. But that did not stop them feeling high at all. They stayed together the whole weekend, from an age range of 8 to 80!! They kept together in the pub, the hotel, even the motorway services. They acted and played like a true band ought to.

The moral of this story, I felt very humbled. I've played in the upper sections for most of my brass band career, and I have sincerely never felt as much camaraderie as this band showed to me this weekend, the sincerity of their performance and pride they had in their little community band was quite emotional (sniff!) but I concur.

So an object lesson to my colleagues in the upper sections. We can all learn from this. Banding will die unless we keep it going. Take it to heart, and put a little bit more in, cos one day you might end up with a handful players with no hope and less future, like the Long Eaton Band were at a few years ago, but now they have a thriving band, full in fact. A mixed age yet developing band (their principal trombonist being accepted for the NYBBGB). Plus a Junior Band of 20 plus. All because they refused to give up against all the odds. We hear of too many bands going to the wall cos of money. Well like everything, money has to be earned, and no one gives you a job, you have to find it.

Off the soapbox now. Congrats to all the Bands who competed at the weekend, as Dennis Wilby said in the draw, everyone who was there was a winner already, ain't that the truth!!!

Rich Walker - Top Trom.
Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band

4BR Reply:
Well done mate! Sometimes the top bands and players forget there is a tremendous bunch of people giving it their best in the sections below them. It isn't all about the Royal Albert Hall and the Open and all that is it? Greta to know you had a brilliant few days and that your support wasn't quite in as vain as you suggested!

Torquay Opinions - 17
I spoke to a couple of lovely Welsh lads posted at the entrance to the finals in Torquay on Saturday night. I am a member of the Arbroath Instrumental Band, which was unlucky enough to be drawn 17th out of 19 bands to compete in the Third section finals.

The band eventually took the stage at 11pm and as our bus driver had problems with his tachograph (painful it was too!) this meant we had to leave before the adjudication of the section. I would like to thank Ewan (I think that was his name) for taking the trouble to call me on my mobile to give us the results. I take it that the lads were updating the website 'live' and I wanted to pose a question to them.

I have looked at the adjudication you did for our band and also the band before us (which were described in no kind terms, which I have to say was shared by others who heard them....sorry Plymouth) and married this up with the almost 'glowing' adjudication we received from the 'formal adjudicators'. Given the late hour and the fact that adjudicators must have lost the will to live come this time at night, do you think a mistake was made and our scores transposed?

You probably get a lot of aggrieved bandsman unhappy with the results but, having played since I was 6 years of age and now 37(oops didn't mean to give away my age) I honestly felt that we played extremely well. I am the band' s worst critic but rarely have I ever come off stage feeling so pleased with a performance as I did that night (and that was without a drink!).

I'd be interested in your comments and thanks again for the telephone was much appreciated and if you are ever up in this neck of the woods give me a call.....I owe you one!

Ann Ness
Principal Cornet
Arbroath Instrumental Band

4BR Reply:
Thanks Ann. Don't know about the judges, but our will to live was being sapped by the minute on the last night! Check our comments out though – we don stick by them, even of most people think we are talking complete tosh!

As for the phone call – all part of the 4BR service!!! Sorry we couldn't tell you that you had won!

Great Euph players??
Are they musicians or mechanics? - What about Trevor Groom and John Clough for sheer sound, Morgan Griffiths, S. Lord etc... I am not a fan of loud raucous noises in constant air variations solos played a breakneck speed just for effect.

Look up the dictionary definition for euphonium.... and discuss.

Paul Sycamore

4BR Reply:
Thanks Paul – our euph article appeared some months ago, so it's nice to see that it is still being read. We stick by the choices made – Geoff Whitham was the man who gave his opinions and there was a euph player wasn't there? We think he gave his opinion on the basis who he felt was the best player of each generation rather than just the top 10 of all time, so that's why some great names may have been missed off for you.

Torquay Opinions – 18
The 2nd cornet in Silk Brass you mentioned, wearing a 'muffler' round his neck, is Dave 'blackie' Black. He wears it for medicinal reasons, as he has palsy. 'Blackie' is a good friend of mine who I know through the brass band world. He is one of the kindness, most caring blokes I have had the pleasure to meet. I will always appreciate his generosity to me when I was suffering a period of financial difficulty. 'Blackie' will go out of his way to help a person in need, he has a gentle spirit, and on top of all this, he is a great beer drinker! To paraphrase 'Tim, nice but dim', "a thoroughly good bandsman".

Tim Paton

4BR Reply:
Thanks Tim. We mentioned the muffler as it was in the bands colours – a nice touch and did say that we hoped there wasn't something wrong with the chap for having to wear it. It didn't do him any harm though and the win was well deserved! We even gave the back row a mention!! Well done to Dave – a true bandsman of ever there was one.

Torquay Opinions – 19
Just a quick note to say how traumatised myself and my fellow members of RBL Crownhill`s Trombone section feel after your "in the hall correspondent" likened our performance at Torquay to a "750cc Triumph Bonny with a split exhaust".

Solo Trombone "Nice Nick Nye" and myself have discussed this at length and feel that the correct comparison would be that of a finely tuned Harley Davidson....stylish and brimming with latent if barely used power. I regret to inform you that "Dockyard Dave" our elderly and barely coherent Bass Trombone player has taken your "slur" worst of all of us, already displaying the ravages of old age and prone to random arm spasms when attempting to use a cup mute, this may very well send him over the edge.

On a serious note can you tell us who writes these comments, as he/she is rapidly reaching cult status in the wider brass band movement for being so bad at it!

My own band got slated by your correspondent despite coming a creditable 6th out of 19 bands. It was also noted that the irreverent and acerbic language he/she used when describing the 4th 3rd 2nd section performances was strangely missing for the 1st section..any reason for that.

That said, great coverage and keep up the good work.

Ian "Fat Boy" Heard
RBL Crownhill Band.

4BR Reply:
Great letter Ian – we did say that yours was the only band to really go for the motor bike effect full throttle – most sounded like a 125 Vespa scooter! It was marked on the score as well – so top banana mate!

We divulge our identity of our correspondent for fear of retribution from bandsmen who don't quite share your sense of humour, but we are delighted to have reached cult status – we hope that's what you meant! As for the First Section – they tend to take things a bit too serious so we gave up looking for dodgy moments as they all seemed so bloody sullen!

Torquay Opinions – 20
Wire Brass would like to pass on their congratulations to all the Members of Silk Brass following their win last Saturday. I think sometimes bands end up with far too much bad feeling between them during contesting. However, all the members in Silk Brass whom we met on Saturday were a credit to the brass band movement. Even though we didn't win it was great that all three top places were taken by the North West Bands.

I would also like to propose that all the bands who took place in the nationals in the third section write a letter of complaint to the Brass Band Federation concerning the lateness of the contest. Its not exactly rocket science to work out how long the third section would take and it didn't help with the fourth section overrunning. Do we not have any halls in Great Britain with more than one room to perform in? I would have thought that they would have looked at this due to the length of the piece in the third section and have a different hall for each.

Once again congratulations to Silk and we look forward to seeing them in second section next year.

Ian Sanders

4BR Reply:
We are in agreement with everything you say Ian – send off a letter and see what reply you get back. The BFBB are a fine bunch, and they did put their hands up to accept the blame for the Balls Up, so it will be interesting to see what they have to say. Great to see bands having a great time though.

About these comments

We will not print anonymous letters and we will not print your email address 4barsrest has a responsibility to inform our readers of our opinions concerning the many topics of the banding world we cover, and we are proud that we give the opportunity for people to comment with their thoughts about certain topics (including contest results). However, we are very clear that these comments are those of the individual who has written them, and in no way do they indicate that 4br agrees with the sentiments, observations or perceived injustices that are highlighted in them. We will continue to inform and report to our readers, and will give our own opinions and thoughts. We will also continue to give the opportunity to others to do the same, but by allowing people to air their opinions does not, and will not mean that they reflect in any way the responsible and informed opinion that we ourselves hold.

About these comments...

We will not print anonymous letters and ... Read more.