facebook twitter rss vimeo shop label support us

*
banner

CD review: Patrons' Choice X

Foden's Band
Conductor: Michael Fowles
Doyen Recordings: DOY CD370

Foden's

This recording - the tenth in the successful ‘Patrons'’ series is dedicated not to an individual or even to a historic anniversary, but to an undeniable, indefinable sense of spirit.

The fire that destroyed Foden’s rehearsal home in April 2016 robbed them of a great swath of tangible history – pictures, trophies, music, artefacts and memorabilia. 

Thankfully, some were restored and saved, but it was the emotional vacuum created when the touchstones of memory were lost that will, unfortunately, never be replaced.

Resolute mood

This then is Foden’s of late 2016 in resolute mood; a musical display of gratitude to friends and associates within the wider brass band movement who offered help when it was needed most.  It is heartfelt and genuine - and well played. 

The fourteen tracks, half of which feature soloists (some no longer with the band) on fine form, are selected with more than a nod of appreciation to the successes that were marked by the smoke damaged silverware, but also to the prospect of new honours yet to come.

Michael Fowles does a splendid job curating the repertoire; from the opening ‘Grand Fanfare’ with its feverish rhythms and exotic flavours, to the panoramic, but ultimately pyrrhic glory of ‘The Triumphal Entry of Spartacus’.

Elsewhere, Howard Snell’s intuitive appreciation of Ketelby’s ‘The Clock with the Dresden Figures’ remains a masterful delight, and it’s good to hear the warm sensitivity displayed on ‘The Seal Lullaby’, ‘Just As I Am’ and the more robust ‘Dunlap’s Creek’. 

All the soloists shine - with David Thornton and Mark Bousie athletically jumping through ‘Gypsy Earrings’ the size of the hula hoops Bet Lynch used to sport on her lugholes behind the bar in Coronation Street.

Hula hoops

All the soloists shine - with David Thornton and Mark Bousie athletically jumping through ‘Gypsy Earrings’ the size of the hula hoops Bet Lynch used to sport on her lugholes behind the bar in Coronation Street.

And whilst there is just enough interest in ‘A Farewell to Arms’ - inspired not by the famous Ernest Hemingway novel, but by the slightly less famous service of a retiring Dutch Military Commander, there is certainly something to savour with the pop detours of ‘All Night Long’ and the surreal mix of Led Zeppelin meets James Bond that is ‘Supremacy’ by Muse.

Jimmy Page as 007 would have been an absolute hoot. 

Iwan Fox


To purchase: http://shop.fodensband.co.uk/patrons-choice-x.html

Play list:

1. Grand Fanfare (Giancarlo Castro D'Addona)
2. Aria con Variazioni (Handel arr. Matthew Eden)
Soloist: Mark Wilkinson
3. Dunlap's Creek (Robert Bernat)
4. When Sparks Fly (Tom Davoren)
Soloist: Sarah Lenton
5. Blue (Thomas Gansch arr. John Doyle)
Soloist: Richard Poole
6. A Farewell to Arms (Harrie Janssen)
7. All Night Long (Lionel Ritchie arr. Leigh Baker)
8. Someone Like You (Frank Wildhorn arr. John Barber)
Soloist: John Barber
9. Supremacy (Matthew Bellamy arr. Simon Kerwin)
10. Gypsy Earrings (Ardeshir Farah arr. Ryan McGeorge)
Soloists: David Thornton and Mark Bousie, John Barber (piano), Andrew Cattanach, Mark Landon, Anthony Mann
11. The Seal Lullaby (Eric Whitacre arr. Paul Sharman)
Soloist: Melanie Whyle
12. The Clock with the Dresden Figures (Ketèlby arr. Howard Snell)
Soloists: Mark Landon, Anthony Mann, Eve Knowles, Matthew Brett
13. Just As I am (Wilfred Heaton)
14. The Triumphal Entry of Spartacus (Khachaturian arr. Howard Snell)

Support us for less than a cup of coffee...

4BR wants to ensure that the brass band movement remains vibrant and relevant. We also want to be able to question, challenge and critically examine those who run and play in it, producing high quality journalism that informs as well as entertains our readers.

So if like us you value a strong, independent perspective on the brass band world - then why not consider becoming a supporter and help make our future and that of a burgeoning brass band movement more secure.

So one less cappuccino then?

Support us    



Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass Band - Concentus - sings

Saturday 22 June • St. Saviours Church, South Street, Eastbourne BN21 4UT


Black Dyke Band - BrassPass.tv Band of Year Gala Concert, Manchester

Saturday 22 June • Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1DA


Elland Silver Band -

Saturday 22 June • Blackley Baptist Church Blackley Elland HX5 0TD


Thundersley Brass Band - Summer Concert (A Night At The Movies)

Saturday 22 June • Richmond Hall, Richmond Avenue, Benfleet, Essex SS7 5HA


Imperial Brass - A Celebration of the Music & Legacy of Mark Freeh

Saturday 22 June • West Side Presbyterian Church. 6 South Monroe Street. Ridgewood, NJ 07450


Uppermill Band

June 19 • If you are a EUPHONIUM or CORNET PLAYER(position negotiable) and looking for a change, come and join our friendly team (2nd Section 2020) Help celebrate our 40th Anniversary and be part of Team Uppermill at the National Finals at Cheltenham.


Mid-Rhondda

June 19 • Mid-Rhondda have a vacancy for Bb Bass.. Excellent attendance at rehearsals on Thursdays at 7.30 at the Band Hall Dunraven St., Tonypandy CF40 1AL


The Wigston Band

June 19 • Trombones needed! We are a very friendly 2nd section band based in Wigston, Leicestershire. We enjoy a sensible mixture of concerts and contests and would look to welcome some new musicians within our organisation under our newly appointed MD Geoff Wood.


Kevin Wadsworth


Conductor, adjudicator, teacher (ABBA)