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Reg Vardy Band

For Your Eyes Only: 70 Years of Bond
Conductor: Chris Shanks
The Fire Station
Sunderland
Sunday 9th July


This was a super concert production – fully professional in every way.

From the start there were clips and credits from the various Bond films complemented by iconic script lines synced on a large screen behind the band.  It was an excellent mix of media, adding, not distracting to the enjoyment which was enhanced by extra audience interaction with a QR code to vote for your favourite James Bond.

The atmospheric visuals were also perfectly timed with the music, which was played with just the right level of big screen intensity and excitement by the polished ensemble. 

Classic Bond

Classic Bond favourites were balanced by the less well-known themes from the film series which started with ‘Dr No’ in 1962 – each cleverly orchestrated and arranged by Alan Catherall and MD Chris Shanks.  

There was a suave Sean Connery swagger to the playing; warm in tonality with just the right hint of cool menace – the middle band a meaty filling to the deliberately piercing upper brass and thumping lower end foundations. 

There was a suave Sean Connery swagger to the playing; warm in tonality with just the right hint of cool menace – the middle band a meaty filling to the deliberately piercing upper brass and thumping lower end foundations. The solo playing around the stands was first rate – supple and subtle. 

The concert also saw guest soloists Jim Hayes (Jonny Midnight) and 17-year-old vocalist Lauren Campbell performing several outstanding numbers both with an accompanist (keyboard) alongside the band. 

Expert director

A special mention must also go to MD Chris Shanks who controlled the excitement levels like an expert director (as well as compere) - keeping everyone on the edge of their seat until just the right time for the full blown climax.  

The Fire Station media team also played their part - the lighting and effects creating an extra level of atmosphere and interest ambience, whilst the simple choreography employed was very effective – the change from traditional stage uniforms to black tuxedos and black ballgowns a little visual touch that added thoughtful sophistication. 

At the end everyone left shaken and stirred by a great evening of brass band entertainment.

Joanna Richardson

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