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Brighouse & Rastrick and Brass Band Treize Etoiles

Intimate Dobcross stage provides the tastiest of RNCM previews as well as expectation for battles ahead...

Conductors: James Gourlay & Frederic Theodoloz
Dobcross Band Club
Friday 26th January

An opportunity to enjoy a concert of this quality on your doorstep is a rare treat indeed.

Dobcross Band Club may lack the imposing architectural splendour of the concert halls of Malmo and Luzern, but its friendly intimacy and sense of brass banding history left a lasting impression on the current European and Swiss National Champion.  

Equally, their musical excellence also did the same thing in return for a packed, knowledgeable audience.

RNCM preview

The conduit between West Riding and the Canton of Valais in southern Switzerland, where Treize Etoiles draws its players from various local bands, is Prof David King, who has worked with MD Frederic Theodoloz over the last few years. 

That influence was marked both in the MDs style, as well as his insistence on precision, balance and dynamic contrast, as they provided a preview of their RNCM International Brass Band Festival programme the following day.   

Damien Lagger’s opening ‘Euroflash’  captured all three musical characteristics, whilst the poignant ‘Remointze’  and virtuosic brilliance of Lionel Fumeaux (swapping tenor for bass trombone) on the funk swagger of ‘Fly or Die’  added further layers of expectation for the coruscating reprise of Thiery Deleruyelle’s ‘Sand & Stars’.

This was the work that helped claim the European title in Malmo – its own popularity further enhanced at the British Open with its colourful storyboard of exotic atmosphere and drama. It was a performance that brought the Libyan desert to Dobcross as well as further anticipation for the European Championships in Palanga, where these two bands will battle for the title. 

This was the work that helped claim the European title in Malmo – its own popularity further enhanced at the British Open with its colourful storyboard of exotic atmosphere and drama. It was a performance that brought the Libyan desert to Dobcross.

T J Powell's 'Thundercloud'   (the first piece the band played publicly when formed 50 years) led to the encores of 'MacArthur Park'  and Bertrand Moren's 'Golden Brass'  simply added to the levels of audience satisfaction. 

Lightness of touch

Brighouse & Rastrick added a neat lightness of touch under James Gourlay, whose humour held the audience in the palm of his hand throughout. 'Malaguena',  'Festive Overture' and 'The Last Chord'  were classily stamped in style as were the solo contributions of Tom Smith and Chris Robertson.

The sprightly footwork of the 68-year-old for ‘Riverdance’  had perhaps more of a hint of Bruce Forsyth than Michael Flatley, but it mattered little, as by then all that was required was the traditional lollipop of ‘The Floral Dance’  to round off a memorable night.

Malcolm Wood 

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