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Black Dyke

Conductor: Prof Nicholas Childs
Uppermill Civic Hall
Saturday 3rd November

Prior to the arrival of Nicholas Childs, Black Dyke’s concert appearances in and around Saddleworth were something of a rarity.

Thankfully times have changed, and despite a demanding diary their regular appearance in Uppermill not only guarantees promoter Phil Beck a full house, but ensures that the quality of the playing leaves his audience well satisfied.

With radio host David Hoyle of Yorkshire Brass delivering succinct compere links, a relaxed band delivered a familiar easy listening programme that maintained a polished elan about it from start to finish.  

Top drawer

‘Liberty Bell’ opened with a touch of well placed musical wit, before ‘La Forza el Destino’ was a timely reminder to any Butlins First Section contenders in January that it will take some playing - especially if they hope to replicate the same level of precision and flowing musicality shown here. 

It was top drawer brass band playing. 

‘La Forza el Destino’ was a timely reminder to any Butlins First Section contenders in January that it will take some playing - especially if they hope to replicate the same level of precision and flowing musicality shown here.  

As was Richard Marshall, who captivated with Terry Camsey’s ‘A Melody of the Heart’ before leading his cornet section in the cascading sounds of ‘Cornet Carillon’.

‘Ol’ Man River’ gushed like a torrent rather than the meandering Mississippi, before the first half closed with music from Paul Lovatt-Cooper; Zoe Hancock evoking the county of her birth in the enchanting ‘By Trevone Bay’, as a neat contrast to the band flicking through the dynamic gears for a brimstone ‘Fire in the Blood’.


‘633 Squadron’ paved the musical flight path for the second half that featured a trio of soloists all on classy form.

Brett Baker with ‘Thoughts of Love’ and Siobhan Bates on Martin Cordner’s ‘Lullaby’ were excellent, whilst the irrepressible Daniel Thomas dusted off ‘Endearing Young Charms’ to leave listeners mesmerised in admiration.

The popular big band set of ‘Song of the Volga Boatmen’, ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ was as polished as ever, before PLC’s ‘Immortal’ homage to the Queensbury band brought the formal proceedings to a close.

With Remembrance Sunday on the horizon, the fitting ‘encores’ of ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord Has Ended’ segued into ‘Bugle Call’ and ‘How Great Thou Art’ rounded off an evening of quality music making.

Malcolm Wood  

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