4br's write up of the L&SC 2nd section

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by HBB, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    I just thought I'd express my opinion at how awful this write up was.

    It is obvious in my eye that Malcolm Wood was not in the hall for many performances - especially the spiel about the winner's performance.

    The icing on the cake was the comments about each band's soprano. And 4br's soprano of the day made me wet myself!

    Do you think it's write that if 4br's opinion conflicts with the placings they re-write it to make them look betteR?
  2. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    I can't really make a judgement on the review as I saw only one 2nd section band (in London LSC)...Sandhurst.

    I know the piece was very difficult for the section and I think they did an admirable job (congrats and represent London well at Harrogate)... however, I did not think the soprano was the strength of their band by any means (that being said it is a very difficult and exposed soprano part). I would be willing to believe that there were better soprano performances, but like I said I only saw one band, so for me to comment on that would be unfair.

    As far as the comment about Malcom, I saw him in the theatre everytime I was in there, which was for the 1 second section band and about 5 championship section bands. I did notice he moved about a bit, so it could be that he heard things differently, but it would be difficult to sit in the same spot for 24 bands!!

    I sometimes wonder how much 4BR is swayed by public sentiment. It would be difficult to be totally impartial knowing which band is on stage and hearing the crowd reaction, however I have seen them go against the judges before.

    I think when ever critiques are done, instead of listing their placings versus the judges, it might be wiser (in order to create less of a stir) if the reviewers would put bands in clusters.

    For instance in their championship section review it seems 4BR clustered:
    Redbridge and Aveley in 1-2
    Alliance, Zone 1 and WGC in 3-5
    Northfleet, Soham and Friary 6-8
    Kidlington, Ipswich and KM Medway 9-11

    I think while some may disagree with specific placings in these groupings, most people would agree that the bands fit within these groups (although Maybe the top group should be R, A&N and Alliance). My point being that when writing a review, it seems to please the readers (both public opinion and the bands) is important (after all they are your main audience), but I also feel that to some extent it is important to support the adjudicators as too often there are some sour grapes (and is it really worth arguing over 4th and 5th place in the London Area?)...that being said, there still needs to be a checks and balance system for adjudicators and right now it appears to only be media outlets like 4BR, tMP, BBW & BB.
  3. livyarker

    livyarker Member

    i know one of the people that writes for 4 bars rest and i know that they usually listen to every performance.

    I have to admit that the writing up from the band i played with at the weekend would appear quite harsh, but its usually just one persons opinion. The comments made about our band were all mainly negative so it's not very uplifting to see when you know you've not played well. But they were fair comments if you ask me.
  4. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    :eek: That makes it worse then! :eek:
  5. livyarker

    livyarker Member

    i'm sure if you wrote your thoughts on the contest other people would disagree with your comments too. it must be hard to write for them.
  6. lewis

    lewis Member

    I understand where you complaint comes from I really do, and 4bars major problem now is the popularity they have gained. I think we must remember that they aren't getting paid to do their site and to try and listen to every band in 5 sections in 7 different areas is possibly too much to ask from any one group of people.

    I think we have all had complaints about their opinions at some point in the past but at the end of the day, who cares what they say? It doesn't change the result even if they say you were the best band there. As brilliant as I think 4bars is I do think that people are taking their opinions way too seriously. The site is a brilliant source of brass band news and their introduction to contests are interesting but the predictions and retros are never going to be to everybodies liking.

    Let's just let them get on the great work they do and take their opinions with a pince of salt hey? I know it's been said a million of times but we do this for fun don't we?
  7. livyarker

    livyarker Member

    couldn't have put it better myself!
  8. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member


    When I was with Waltham Forest, now East London Brass, the principal cornet would often ask if I was enjoying banding. The answer was often "no", but the end result was musically satisfying, and that was what I was looking for. When the musical satisfaction died, that was the time to leave. It was similar when I was with the Newham Band. Harlow was different, that was one long blast of fun**, but never completely satisfying musically.

    ** Including phrases like "Here's a pound. Go away for five hours." Ask LBB...

    Anyhow, I go to work in Whitehall for fun, and Banding and Cricket are the things I take seriously in life. (Yesterday I even managed to get an HR bod to agree that life-work balance was an issue...) :rolleyes::wink:

    tMP, on the other hand, is a fun place to be.
  9. lewis

    lewis Member

    If music is only satisfying for you then I feel sorry for you. I honestly believe you have to love music to play it well. We really had a great time playing Rienzi, and we were truely gutted with the results but we will bounce back and look to forward to Connotations, with thankfully is another piece we can love.

    Most music should be fun Will, but playing with a brass band should be more than that. It's such hard work and the results are more often than not demoralising that is has to be a passion.
  10. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Active Member

    If you read all of the threads about contesting and adjudicating, it could be implied that the brass band world only do these contests in order to bitch about the results, the adjudication and the write-ups. If that is your idea of fun, I would suggest you need a new hobby.

    In the same way that the results are just one person's opinion - so there may well be some conflict between what they say and how you see it (assuming you were in there for the entire duration, not found in the bar - which is where I have found many a bander during contest days) - any review will also be one person's opinion. If you happen to disagree with them, welcom to the world of opinion. Neither of you are wrong, you just happen to disagree about musical (hopefully) performances.

    I would suggest that everyone should take time off from writing about how unfair/badly written/terrible/etc any of the results or reviews have been, but that would take away one of the major reasons for participating in these contests - the moaning about it afterwards.
    It's a contest - the results/reviews have been written - let them be.
    If you don't like what was said - make sure that next time you cannot be accused of the same things.
  11. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Each time we enter a contest we expect to do the best we can. If for some reason we fail to do that, we often look to shift the blame to others, whether it is the adjudicator or the (un)informed (you choose) opinion of a person giving up their time to offer a news service to the rest of the country on who there opposition will be in September / October and how they performed. Sometimes the use of creative writing is apparent in the reviews, and occasionally, although I would say rarely (as I can honestly say that I have never had a bad decision in my banding life, except for...........) the adjudicator will get it wrong.

    However, when it comes to it, if the bands that are representing the area go to Harrogate and produce a good performance, or even great ones like last year, then all is OK in L&SC. If it all goes tits up and the bands finish below the par set from last year, then we may have to consider that there was potentially an injustice in the area contest. (I won't include the championship section in this generalisation, as I believe that whoever gets through to the RAH is a worthy competitor, and I haven't heard of any major problems on selection in all my years of banding)

    I listened to 8 bands in the 2nd section (2-9) and had a somewhat different view to the adjudicator, albeit without knowing the piece and hearing it for the first time on Sunday morning at an ungodly hour. I based my placings purely on the depth and timbre of the sounds produced, and attention to dynamics and phrasing. Some players left a little bit to the imagination when they produced certain notes, on certain instruments. This I believe was how HBB should have eloquently phrased his little diatribe on the pro's and con's of the upper brass in a band.

    Erm, no

    Coutesy of 4br from the British Open 2004

    I think this proves that 4br aren't always sycophantic, and don't have an agenda to stick to in accordance with the adjudicator's views. I also decided to read another of Malcolm Wood's retro's and suggest that others do to, before commiting acts of libel on this web site.
  12. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Amazing how inflation has taken over bearing in mind that the incident took place in 1989? and it would cost a darn sight more now to procure certain salubrious services for the old money price of 20p an hour :redface:

    Still get the itch from time to time reliving those days.

    I'm talking about the arcade original of Track and Field, you filthy minded individuals.
  13. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I know that I wasn't at the contest and so can't fully argue about what went on, but from an outsiders point of view this really does seem like a case of sour grapes! Nearly every theard i've read on the L&SC area has just been slagging off the winners and the judges, at the end of the day the judge was chosen to officiate and he chose a certain band to win so really there is nothing to argue about. At the end of the day if the majority of people thought the band who won were crap then fair do's, but the judge obviously thought otherwise. As for 4barsrest, they don't have to go to contests and give a retrospective of the contest and I think all to often they get stick for just trying to give a service they really don't have to give.

    This is not so much a dig at anyone but just an observation, as I said I wasn't there (and don't even know the banding scene down there) but...I know that if I were a member of the winning band I'd be ****ed off by reading this thread
  14. IYOUNG

    IYOUNG Member

    Well at last the most accurate posting weve had since the L&SC contest - Well said Andy and see some of mine and they are the ones that agree with you 150%

  15. alanianmann

    alanianmann New Member

    I attended the second section and heard most of the bands. I even spoke to Malcolm Wood as he came back into the hall for the one performance that he missed in the section . I do not think he would re-write his own thoughts just to match the aducation. This is not bragging either since I play for Capital Concert Brass and we did not exactly get a very good result either. Well done to Sandhurst and good luck in the finals;)
  16. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Satisfying for me then equalled enjoying the music, the preparation, the performance, the tension. What stopped it from being fun was the lack of respect from asome for a very good MD, which involved mainly persistently talking when the MD wished to press on. The MD was not the type to start without people, nor to pull them up and say be quiet. This I found highly irritating, and in the end, that was why the main reason I moved from that band. It was a relief that I moved when I did, as it means I am still on good terms with that band. Had I stayed two weeks longer, there might have been valve oil all over the floor...

    It was only that the music was satisfying that kept me going in that band for so long, plus that I knew I was learning bucket loads about banding from that MD, and from DP, as he was a regular helper.

    That was then - this is now, and Fulham is, all in all, (apart from having to play "Blue is the Colour" for the locals :wink: ) a very enjoyable experience.
  17. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I have to fly our flag a little here, and give my opinion (and I'm by no means alone - several disinterested enquirers outside the hall gave variations on "You're joking!" when informed of our placing) that the performance we delivered, while not of our very best, was treated rather unworthily by being awarded 9th; we seem to have paid rather heavily for some nervous splitting in the Cornet solo. Unless the standard this year at L&SC was radically different to what it usually is, 5th or 6th would have seemed more reasonable. I wasn't intending to make a post along these lines, but the assumption above made me want to make that clear.
  18. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Fair enough. You are certainly entitled to fly your flag a bit, and since I was getting ready in the gym below to go on stage when you played, I can not personally refute any of your claims. I am guilty of make generalisations through hearsay - which maybe happens a bit too often :( sorry, I was just trying to make the point of what I believe would be a slightly more productive/ less controversial way for the band media to 'rate' bands at a contest (guess it didn't work ;))
  19. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Sorry about that! Don't let my personal gripes distract you from the good point you were making. ;)

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