As this will be my 1000th post I thought I’d try to make some salient points about banding and in particular what I feel about it at the moment. I can honestly say that in the 30 plus years I’ve been playing in bands I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve meet some very nice people, I’ve had the opportunity to visit and play in other countries and all over the UK, it really has been a pleasure to be involved in a hobby which can generate so much enjoyment. I’ve particularly enjoyed getting stuck in to organising stuff at Killamarsh especially the tours; I’ve arranged our trips to Belgium, Holland and the Czech Republic. Last year we also organised a training band workshop and we now have a thriving Training Band which is really about the future of the band. We also arranged an Entertainments contest which unfortunately cost the band a few bob but I know that everyone (apart from Geordie Colin) enjoyed taking part. In the two years I’ve been on tMP I’ve had the additional opportunity to meet like minded people, play with other bands and call on numerous deputy players to help out my band; so to John and tMP – thanks for that. Where do I go from here? In respect of my current thoughts on banding a perennial problem is the issue of getting “committed” players out for summer jobs and whilst it seems that we’ve been playing every weekend since the beginning of July the turn-out for my band has been poor and if it hadn’t been for the deputy players and friends we could not have done these jobs. So, on the one hand it’s a problem but then someone comes along and helps you out. Also, a big thank you if you’ve helped us out and a big thanks to anyone else that helps bands out at this time of year. Although I have contested with BBSBB I won’t pass any comment on contesting as such. Many people will know my long established views on this part of banding but I will say having taken part it’s not changed my thoughts. On a negative point I’m concerned about the “takers” in banding those that expect everything to be done for them and don’t put anything back in. OK so you turn up and play but just ask yourself what else do you add to yours and everyone else’s banding experience? I’ve been on the committee at Killamarsh for nearly 30 years and in all that time I’ve had to deal with a number of problems that you shouldn’t have in banding. Why can’t people turn up, take part and just enjoy what we do? Make music and hopefully educate and entertain people. When you read about bands that have members taking them to court over whether they’ve resigned or not I despair. For goodness sake it’s meant to be a recreation not an extension of the working day. Despite some of these negative issues I still enjoy playing and as example I will comment on KSB performance at Newark Castle yesterday. The band managed to turn out 18 members and we had 7 deputy players to boost our numbers – it was an excellent venue, 600 or 700 people sat there all afternoon to hear us and we received numerous complimentary comments on our performance. The conductor was even stopped outside Pizza Express a couple of hours later by an audience member who was glowing in his comments on our choice of programme and performance. That’s what bandings about for me – bring more of that on and sod the rest. Oh one thing I haven't mentioned and that's the social side - what a fine time we have? For anyone interested Killamarsh and friends from Dronfield and Stannington will be out in Sheffield this Saturday night (12/08/2006) and we'll be meeting in the Devonshire Cat (Devonshire Quarter in centre of town) at 8pm - come along and meet us.