2005 Masters Becomes International?!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by NAS, Jun 11, 2004.


Should Non English Bands Be Invited To Compete?

  1. Yes?

  2. No?

  1. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    Unless the attitudes of these 2 bands have radically changed I don't think they care about entering any contest. Try to book either of these bands and witness the difficulty in booking either band anytime soon and the fee. I think you will see why their priority is their concert schedule (the real reason they don't enter the masters). In addition, the format for this new competition (as I understand it) will by no means ensure you will be listening to either of these bands.
    Competitions are an expensive business (as I'm sure you know). Another contest will only interfere with an already hectic concert schedule and I think many of our "top" bands will be reluctant to enter another privately run competition.
    The Europeans is great fun and it's an honour to feel you are representing your country but as Faireys demonstrated in 2003, financial considerations are paramount.
    I believe that if you ask the members of Dyke or Grimey they will tell you that the only ones worth winning are the Nationals and the Open ("real contests" as a certain Mr Derek Jackson once informed me) and they are still the finest places to hear the best our movement has to offer and the envy of the banding world.
  2. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    I think both the named bands think quite a lot about entering contests. Dyke's reaction at not winning the Open and then later winning the Nationals was clear for all to see and as for Grimey they have had little success in the last 5 to 10 years at a test piece contest- something that their players are more than aware of.

    I know contesting isn't everything but bands can only live off their past achievements for so long. Whether rightly or wrongly, contesting is an integral part of the brass band scene. Audience members listen to bands for both their historical achievements and their current achievements. To take the obvious example, YBS have dominated the Europeans. People listen to them for that reason. Dyke previously dominated that contest in the 70's and 80's. YBS's achievements has surpassed those of Dyke and they may continue to do so.

    Although we are in a transitional period with no clear end in sight, under current rules England's representative at the Europeans comes from the National Finals. Both Dyke and Grimey have always been a part of that and therefore, in principle, always in with a shout of qualifying for the Euros. It may be the case that that qualification process will change. Will mindsets change?

    I know how much Dyke and Grimey get for their concerts and the very nature of their set-ups means that they have to generate that sort of income from high profile concerts to keep the band going financially. However, pride is a strong thing - your post assumes it doesn't exist amongst the players of some bands. I think it means a little more than 'a bit of fun' or 'an honour' for bands who get through to the Euros. As for the Open and the Nationals being the only real contests, I'm sure any band who has won it 6 times on the trot against some really great bands would call it a 'real contest'!

    As for there being too many contests, I agree completely. At the moment it is a case of quantity and not quality but hopefully a bit of competition between contests will sort the wheat from the chaff. Thats why I hope the EFBB contest is well thought out and becomes a success.

    I can see it getting very commercial and very cut-throat. The (banding) world revolves around money...

  3. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    Do I rest my case?!

    Dyke are just well..... Dyke. Probably the banding worlds most famous name.
    Brighouse are still dancing (of the floral variety) and Grimethorpe are definitely brassed off!!
    When Faireys were Double National Champions they struggled to fill a hall even in their home base of Stockport. Desford were filling concert halls even before they won their first "major" (BBC Best of Brass and Granada Band of the Year (TV)).
    Isn't it the truth that we need our audiences to be drawn from the general public whose only interest in the Nationals Trophy is that it identical to the Crufts Trophy (true!) The only people who care whether a band has won a competition are other bandsmen. Sadly, this particular group is notoriously bad when it comes to listening to other bands and it appears (if I understand you correctly), would only be interested in doing so if there is silverware on show.
    It appears our movement is in a far worse state than I previously believed! :(
  4. iggmeister

    iggmeister Member

    With the greatest of respect, Dyke were last at the Euros in 2002 when they came 3rd. The only contests that they have entered since then has been the Areas, the Open and the Nationals. As for Grimey, correct me if I'm wrong but, the last time they were in the Europeans was 1993. A really cynical person might say that the only ones worth winning are the ones you get to compete for! (Tongue in cheek/ devils advocate/usual 'no offence intended' disclaimer rubbish)

    Dyke are the worlds 'most famous' brass band, (according to their website), and Grimey are the World's 'favourite' brass band. Both are excellent ensembles that I have great respect for but I don't see them appealling (or many other brass bands for that matter) to the general non-banding public. They play to audiences who like brass bands who are getting ever older as father time trudges on. However, i think you are wrong that the only people who care about contest results are other bandsmen, (unless of course you include as 'bandsmen' those people who regularly follow brass bands, buy the 'British Bandsman' and 'Brass Band World' and gossip about bands daily down their local working mens club and who, incidentally, make up a large proportion of the audience at the likes of Dyke's and Grimey's concerts).

    I agree with you that the brass band movement should be looking to branch out past the hardened brass band audience. Stavanger seem to be doing this although I acknowledge that it is a different situation in continental Europe.

    I wasn't implying that playing band members would attend other band concerts if there was silverware on show and agree with you that they, (and me as one of them), are bad at listening to other bands' concerts. As for the presence of silverware, I think that would make a difference. I remember when I was just starting out playing that I went to a concert and got to see the Nationals (Crufts) Trophy and that was a great thrill. Almost (well, sort of) like seeing the World Cup.

    At that age, the fact that it was theoretically possible to be National Champion was great inspiration to go on to bigger and better things. It is still an inspiration to young players and those in both higher and lower section bands. I think you ignore that fact.

    If contesting means so little to some of our 'premier'/ name brass bands, who will be the first to go the whole hog and give up contesting completely? After all, they could save themselves a week of rehearsals prior to the contest and go out and make some money instead? I'd be genuinely (and non-sarcastically) interested to hear your thoughts Humphrey...

  5. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    I spent a large portion of my life at the "Dyke" as a player and was thrilled to be a member of such a magnificent establishment and a great band. I've also had the good fortune to be a playing member of some of Englands top bands including Faireys and Desford. I can honestly tell you that every one of those bands would love to do just exactly as you have suggested.... and give up contesting altogether!! It was always a regular topic of discussion and (as I'm sure you will be aware) a view I was in total agreement with.
    I will not deny it isn't a thrill to hold (and drink out of) the Nationals Trophy or hold (the very heavy) Open Shield both of which I was fortunate to do on several occasions. My finest memories however are not of contest acheivement but great concerts (playing in Dykes incredible live performance of The Planets at Symphony Hall for example).
    There is another thread on this forum about band politics from which it is clear that contests are a root of considerable evil. I will not deny that competition is the driving force for many bands and they would probably not exist without it... but Dyke;Grimey;Brighouse?? I think not.
    The Band who came closest to giving up contesting altogether were Desford (1990) who after being barred from the Nationals (hat-trick) and banned from the Europeans (well known debacle) withdrew from all competition for the entire year. They just spent the year doing great concerts and touring Europe and the U.S. Best year ever (for me at least).
    I understand we've gone way off topic and maybe there should be a new thread for this discussion but I maintain my original arguement... the very best bands in this country need another contest like a brass band needs a clarinet section!!
    It would be a brave band who would give up contests altogether but I would personally applaud (and love to be a part of) any band with the courage to do so.
  6. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    1997 I believe... although I'm missing some of the cds since then...

    Some interesting points though!
  7. johnflugel

    johnflugel Active Member

    Why were Desford banned from the Euros? for being too good.....!?!
  8. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I think there was some misbehaviour. :shock:
  9. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    You can read about what happened in 1989 here
  10. Bryan_sop

    Bryan_sop Active Member

    I am on the Cambridge corn exchange's mailing list, here's the section of the email about the masters:

    Sunday 29 May 05


    Competing bands
    1st Old Boys Seacat Band
    Aveley & Newham Band
    Brass Band Burgermusik Lucerne
    Brass Band Willebroek
    Buy As You View Band
    Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
    Flowers Band
    Fodens Richardson Band
    Kirkintilloch Band
    Ransome Band
    Redbridge Brass
    Reg Vardy (Ever Ready) Band
    Scottish Co-op Band
    Sellers International Band
    SWT Woodfalls Band
    Travelsphere Holidays Band
    Tredegar Town Band
    Whitburn Band
    Test Piece - Cloudcatcher Fells - McCabe

    Featured Bands:
    Buy As You View Band & Fodens Richardson Band

    Championship - 10.00am
    Tickets - £14 -£18

    Gala Evening Concert - 7.30pm
    Tickets - £12 - £16 (same structure as before)

  11. Humphrey

    Humphrey Member

    You can read 4-bars rest version of what happened at any rate. As always there are 2 sides to every story!!
    Desford were NOT the triple National Champs at that point. That happened later in the year. To suggest that Desford did not play well enough is also misleading. The results were not announced until after the Gala Concert but unfortunately the Norwegian Radio Station covering the event had a schedule to keep. The almost total consensus of the audience was that Desford were clear winners, so on the basis of that alone the radio station broadcast both of Desfords performances (Trittico and Variations on a 9th) announcing them as the winning performances. I was in my Hotel room and caught the broadcast accidentally. Our interpreter filled in the details. Unfortunately Desford didn't win (they came 4th) but the broadcast had created much ill feeling amongst some people who should have known better (amongst some of the organisers in particular). Rude and hurtful remarks were made to some of band reducing many to tears (remember that was a young band average age 21 I think). The chairman of the band respectfully accepted the trophy but afterwards a couple of the players in the band (in protest) attempted to return the trophy. I am not trying to condone their behaviour nor do I but high emotions cause irrational behaviour sometimes.
    A meeting was called at which many prominent members of the banding world and banding press were in attendance. Desford had an Entertainment Contest the next day and I think there was (an unfounded) fear the band would refuse to play. The banding press promised to report the story accurately and that was that.
    As a coda if you like, Desford drew number 2 in the Entertainment contest and won every prize and the band press broke all their promises and took the "official" line.
    It was a black day for the Europeans and Desford deserved their ban (and were more than happy to be banned) but the result of the contest was never the issue. Desford did of course qualify again (in 92 after winning the Nationals on Energy).
    One additional point 4-bars rest; Fodens did indeed score 98 points for their Year of the Dragon but didn't Desford score 99 points 2 years in succession!
    I'm not trying to excuse Desfords behaviour but it's history and I think the truth of what really happened that day is long overdue and yes Mods, I know this is way off topic! :)

    JOCKBLAST! Member

    Just read the 4barsrest article.
    I agree with Humphrey & feel he got most of the gist of what
    He's also right that it is about time the real facts were told.
    They should get the facts right!!!
  13. rumtetumtetum

    rumtetumtetum New Member

    congrats to Carlton Main Frickley and Kirkintilloch for suddenly making the grade!:rolleyes:

    Will there be an explanation made by the contest organisers as to why, after their "this is the lineup of invited bands and no matter what anyone says and no matter how much you all complain it will not be changed" statement, as to why 2 new bands are now listed as participants? a little backpedalling perhaps? :shock:
    I would also be interested to know whether, as an invite only contest, the same bands will be invited for 2006 (as has been the trend in the past when it was an all england contest) or whether bands will be invited or rejected based on their placing at the 2005 contest ( or indeed on a whim) allowing other bands the chance to compete? Are the 2 new comeptitors merely to make up the 2005 numbers, only to be dumped again for 2006 if someone "better" accepts the invitation?
  14. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... just read in 4barsrest that Whitburn Band, for financial reasons, have decided to withdraw from the new Masters competition in favour of competing at the European Championships.
  15. Rick

    Rick New Member

    I was fortunate in May to be able to come across from Australia and play BBb for the Frickley band and proud as punch I was to be asked. I paid my own way to come to an English contest which few of us from the colonies get the opportunity to do.

    Whilst I am not part of your local political scene it amazes me that this discussion is occurring with such voracity. You should all count your lucky stars that quality contesting is available to you at such regular intervals. Spare a thought for those of us outside of the European continent who get 2 contests a year and only one of those is considered major.

    Where is that dogged English spirit which is apparent in your current cricket team. Tell them they should only play within England. Tell the county sides they should not have imports.

    ****** hell boys if there was a brass band test match I think we would do you on determination alone.

    Stop whinging about who is in and who isn't. If you want it all England and you think you have the best bands then how about the bands who are invited accept the challenge and make it impossible for the other bands to win. Then they might not turn up. Let your valves do the talking.

    The complaints I have read on this thread have been like the uncle who didn't get an invite to his only nephews wedding.

    Come on boys anyone organising a contest is always on a hiding to nothing so why not just keep supporting it as a high quality event.
  16. yorkie19

    yorkie19 Active Member

    Well said Rick
  17. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    I think yesterdays contest showed the support for an all English contest, It was fantastic, great venue, fabulous Gala Concert, excellent standard (in comparison to this years european and areas) The contest was a complete success.

  18. Chris Sanders

    Chris Sanders Active Member

    and I forgot to mention the choice of testpiece was fantastic too...
  19. Texus

    Texus Member

    For my opinion i find it very sad and outrageous to see the decline of this contest. Whilst acknowledging total respect for the Winners, it has to be noted that the event is now worth less than the Shield in terms of quality of bands, ranking points and above all else promotion to the open. One can only hope that the apparent success of the weekend continues in the form of the English Championships.

    I would really encourage the comittee of my Band not to be involved next year.
  20. Texus

    Texus Member

    ******. Thought we were talking about the masters!

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