I’ve realised that I’ve never actually done this, in the whole time that I’ve been a member here. So, since I'm now up over 3500 posts, I thought it might be worthwhile adding a little detail about myself for anyone I’ve not met in person. My name’s Andi Cook. I started playing Eb bass with YBS Junior band in early 2001 under the baton of Stuart Derrick, mainly because I was dating one of the front row cornets and quickly became bored with hanging around at gigs. As with all things, neither relationship could last forever, but thankfully my love of banding survived both break-ups. I moved to Yorkshire Co-op band three weeks before the 2004 areas on 2nd Eb, and immediately loved the band and the people. The jump from non-contesting to 1st section was a ‘sink or swim’ moment in my banding career and thankfully, due the help of the players around me, (particularly Andy ‘Belfast Barman’ Stephenson and the late, great Adie Davidson) and the patience of the MD (one John ‘JR’ Roberts) I just about doggy-paddled my way into the section, moving from Eb bass to BB after the grand shield. To this day, it’s still where I spent the happiest times of my banding life so far, and where I made some of my closest friends. Plus the 2005 NZ tour is quite the most amazing adventure I've ever been a part of. I eventually left Yorkshire co-op in Early 2010, aiming to take a break from playing – whereupon I was summarily press-ganged into doing the areas for Frickley and South Elmsall by an old mate, name of Dave ‘Valvecap’ Nichols. After a subsequent break in playing, I took up my current position on the bass section at Wakefield Metropolitan band just before Pontins 2010. I started writing music towards the end of my time at YBS Junior band, when playing alone was no longer enough to keep my brain occupied at that level. It was a few months before I summoned the courage to take any music down to a band, but eventually Forty Shillings, a patrol march based on the marching songs of the British army rifle regiments, debuted at a Yorkshire co-op concert in Buttershaw, to a pleasantly warm reception from band and players alike. The aforementioned Andy Stephenson was later heard to remark he knew it had something special when the entire band were whistling bits of it in the pub afterwards. Forty Shillings was chosen for the Co-op CD Futures, the programme for the NZ band of the year contest, and eventually ended up published through Kirklees Music - in short, it was the start of many things. In the time since, I’ve gone on to write commemorative marches, bespoke hymn-settings, Jazz and big-band pieces and a wide variety of concert items. I was a finalist in the 2011 Ohio Brass Arts Festival composition competition, and recently arranged solos for two of the principal players with Grimethorpe Colliery band, Rob Westacott and Kevin Crockford, which you can find YouTube videos of by searching on my YouTube ID hysteria1979. I’m currently working on another commission, as well as finalising a longer work of more significant difficulty, based on the music of my youth. I'm always on the lookout for new musical ideas, and write more for the love of it than for any financial reward, so if your band needs a commemorative march or a contest hymn, feel free to drop me a PM to discuss your idea. I am one of TMp’s more regular attenders, and though I may often be opinionated and occasionally somewhat sardonic, I hope I'm big enough to debate reasonably, stand by what I’ve said, and admit gracefully when I'm proven wrong. The main reason people bicker is because they can’t argue, and a lively debate is a healthy one, so long as it remains reasoned and as objective as possible. When not playing or writing, I am a devout follower of the unholy trinity that your parents warned you about. Motorcycles, Heavy Metal music… and Beer.