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Black Dyke Reunion Band

Conductor: Richard Evans
Butlins Skyline Resort
Skegness
Saturday 13th January

This was all our yesterdays rolled into one. 

A band made up of former Black Dyke players led by a conductor who should have been a Butlins Redcoat when it comes to entertainment. Little wonder the Centre Stage venue was bulging at the seams. This for many was the musical highlight of the entire Butlins weekend.

Nostalgia

Nostalgia came at every downbeat; from the opening ‘Old Comrades’ march (of course) played with just the right amount of ‘Tricky Dicky’ swagger, to the lollipop encores that naturally included a splendidly appropriate ‘The Champions’

Just how many titles these players had amassed between them in the collective years playing with the Queensbury band was anyone’s guess - but even with more than few of them now in the veteran category of contesting life, you still knew they could still more than hold their own against any wannabe young rivals.

The programme was unashamedly light and popular, with neat links to famous old LP recordings (and that certainly showed how time had passed) to showcase solo spotlights that were delivered with startling aplomb. 

Brought house down

Tom Hutchinson (perhaps the youngest veteran on stage), Chris Jeans, Kevin Crockford and Mark Frost were splendid (as befits players still at the apex of their playing), whilst the euphonium trio of Bob Childs, Morgan Griffiths and the legendary John Clough brought the house down with ‘Grandfather’s Clock’ - which seemed to have the occasional alarm clock chime like a surfacing submarine thanks to the pyrotechnics of Bob!

...the euphonium trio of Bob Childs, Morgan Griffiths and the legendary John Clough brought the house down with ‘Grandfather’s Clock’ - which seemed to have the occasional alarm clock chime like a surfacing submarine thanks to the pyrotechnics of Bob!

Lapped up

The audience lapped it up, transfixed in ‘fandom’ admiration at being able to hear many of their banding heroes perform once more. The more they turned back the clock, (‘Deep Harmony’, 'David of the White Rock’, ‘New World Symphony’) the more the intervening years disappeared in the memory banks.  

Richard Evans for one loved every minute of it - winking, waggling and waspishly wagging away. The only thing he was missing was his cravat – or perhaps that wasn’t allowed in the famous Queensbury bandroom!

It could have gone on all night. A return gig will be inevitable. You may have to start queuing at Christmas to get a seat.  

Malcolm Wood



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John Maines

BA (Hons)
Presenter, compere and conductor