Blown Away - Sky One Series (Greatest Little Britons)

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by The Flugaliser, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Worth a watch for those with Sky TV... this documentary followed several bands (City of Bradford, Horbury Victoria, possibly others?) to the Yorkshire area championships in 2012. It's supposed to be a lighthearted series on those who take their hobbies seriously. Hope it does our fine movement justice & provides us with much needed coverage.

    The programme airs at 10pm on Thurs 25th on Sky 1 & is repeated at 8pm on Sky 2. Would be interesting to hear other's thoughts after watching it.

    The trailer for the programme:
  2. bbg

    bbg Member

    As expected, a bit of the proverbial curate's egg. The most jarring thing rom a bander point of view was the constant reference to "first division" etc instead of the correct Section appellations. Some nice wee cameos of home life for some folks though. Unfortunately the "eccentric old dears" that apparently attend every concert by every televised band ever got their time in the spotlight......but all in all a decent effort at representing the mysteries of banding.
  3. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    And Grimethorpe's token gesture toward's equal opportunities was laughable.... :rolleyes: I just don't know how women would ever be able to travel up and down the country week in and week out.... :confused:
  4. bbg

    bbg Member

    Easy really Fiona....just borrow the wee Fiat 500 (and the nerve pills) from the Dinnington wifey....!!
  5. jockinafrock

    jockinafrock Active Member

    Doh! Why didn't I think of that...? Must've been thinking about what to do for Sunday dinner... ;)
  6. simonium

    simonium Member

    Really? That's the most jarring thing you could find? I must try and improve my existence to such a level where the only thing that riles me is utter trivia. Do you correct people when they say "Premiership football" rather than "Premier league"?
  7. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    It was terrible, I really cannot say anymore without offending someone.
  8. Mello

    Mello Member

    Only my opinion, but with the sad state of banding at the moment......( so many bands being short of players ) I suspect that one reason is the lack of media exposure. TV exposure is now a thing of the past, and as Radio programmes are so few , bands are no longer in the public eye nor percieved as something important or even glamorous as they once were. For example, when I first played at the finals in the RAH, the results Ceremony was televised live on around a short massed bands concert with the announcement of winners included etc The following morning the results were in National Press. Kind of elevating the players into local Celebrities by virtue of having been on TV !! Away from the contests, there were frequent Brass Band TV shows screened over a year. Then of course there were entertainment shows/competitions which came later , Scottish TV had their own, BBC TV had theirs at Derby Assembly Rooms, Granada TV at Birchwood, Ireland had their series of band shows ( Star Brass ) non competitive, purely entertainment , some of which were later screened on BBC 2 , featuring Irish Bands with various well known Soloists, usually English. Moving on the present, there are only odd scraps for bands....not always true portrayals, and not much else. Band Diaries are almost empty ,well the lower profile bands anyway, even in the North where I live. There are 4 Bands in my immediate area ( NONE with a full complement ), and looking at the diaries this morning, I can count the engagements on one hand. There are at least 2 Major Entertainment contests certainly worthy of coverage... 1) Brass in Concert at the Sage , Gateshead. 2) AMR Youth Championships of Gt Britain ( Winter Gardens Blackpool ) ...forgive me please - all the others I have not mentioned. If only the Banders would badger their TV and Radio Stations for more coverage, maybe, just maybe, we could persuade another Arthur Taylor , Gerald Harrison or Alan Tongue, to take up the fight like they did , and give the movement some encouragement to hopefully rekindle public interest. How about it...every journey , no matter how long or hard, always begins with the first step....lets try, please.
  9. simonium

    simonium Member

    I agree with this - I would however add that in my experience many of the younger players in my vicinity don't seem to have much or any interest in bands outside of playing at their own. I recently asked a very promising young cornet player who his favourite player was and got the answer "don't know". When I started playing the euphonium I devoured every recording I could find - knew every principal player and their repertoire because I was curious about the whole thing. Young players to see to have a lack of curiosity. Another example - a friend applied to study brass at a college, had got her grade 8 at a young age and was / is going places. She'd never heard of Wynton Marsalis. As she is a cornet player I find that staggering. How is this even possible? If players themselves are unable to muster enthusiasm or knowledge about their own pastime I cannot see how we can engender enthusiasm from outside.
  10. I am a member of one of the bands involved & we were certainly a little nervous of the band and the movement being turned into some kind of parody. Credit to the producers though, there isn't one member of our band who was misrepresented. There were certain things they filmed which would have been easy to include for a cheap laugh, but these were obviously left on the cutting room floor.

    Not sure i share your views re. memorising top players. I've been a regular contester for over 15 years & I still find myself thinking "who?" when a top player's name creeps into conversation. I've become a fairly accomplished player without this rote learning.

    Couldn't agree more. We don't miss an opportunity to fill the local rag / regional news with an article. Costs nothing & is welcomed to fill the column space. I have to say, national coverage is all well & good but I feel word of mouth gets you the biggest "buzz" in terms of self-promotion. I also think that some bands are sitting around waiting for the golden sponsor to take them to the next level. We were guilty of that for years, until we realised that a non-sponsored association might give us much more of a profile.

    Would your ex-player status have anything to do with your opinion!?
  11. bbg

    bbg Member

    Jarred, not view is that the TV company were more than likely told the correct info but chose to ignore it; would a documentary about English football refer to Manchester United as a "first division" side? Probably not!
  12. bbg

    bbg Member

    [QUOTE=Mello;841691] Band Diaries are almost empty ,well the lower profile bands anyway, even in the North where I live. There are 4 Bands in my immediate area ( NONE with a full complement ), and looking at the diaries this morning, I can count the engagements on one hand. A sweeping statement perhaps? Band numbers are growing in a lot of places and our "lower profile" band keeps busy enough with engagements, without TV coverage. We self promote and make sure we put on a good show for folks who book us - and we get asked back.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  13. I absolutely agree with this Simon. Even some music college students do not routinely listen to other players/orchestras/bands. In my opinion an accomplished player needs to listen to as many different playing styles and genres as possible. All of the best players (most of whom are outside of banding) can name all the other best players in their field and know their relative strengths and weaknesses.
    As a young horn player I spent hours listening to vinyls of the best around. Barry Tuckwell and Hermann Baumann were the soloists to emulate but I also listened to hundreds of orchestral recordings. If you don't listen, how can you learn?
  14. Gazabone

    Gazabone Member

    Here's a thought folks, pick apart/praise/criticise the Sky 1 coverage by all means (personally, I enjoyed watching it). Now for the real question..... What can we do in the brass band world to use the Sky 1 programme to increase the profile of our movement?
  15. JR

    JR Member

    Better than expected?

    So did I - a full hour's worth. I 've known Duncan for 30 years and Lee Skipsey used to play for my band before he went to Dyke - they both came across very well. So did Adrian Harrison and the others featured.

    Sky also covered Duncan's visit to our test piece try out night at Skelmanthorpe the week before the Area - but it got edited out...

  16. StellaJohnson

    StellaJohnson Active Member

    Possibly? Is the programme targeted at you i.e. players or Joe Public? If it is Joe public, then Grimethorpe really didn't do us any justice to name one failure of the programme for the goodness of the movement. I do think Duncan did a good job and came across very well.
  17. Matthew

    Matthew Active Member

    To come back to the original post/comment. :)

    I enjoyed it, was good watching and interesting to see for players and non-players alike. It showed the movement in a good light. So what if there was some incorrect naming of 'division' as opposed to 'section' etc (the former will make more sense to jo public anyway).

    All in all the bands and participants were excellent ambassadors! :)
  18. Backrowdiva

    Backrowdiva Member

    I watched with trepidation to start with, but enjoyed the program, on the section bit I totally understood why they did it, as when I explain how contesting works I use the football leagues to explain to non-banders (me I'm a Sunday League player !;)) and it makes sense to them. It was good that they showed various sections rather than just the well know "high flyers" and all the players and their families came across well, though I must admit the Grimey "equal opps" poilcy statement made me smile.
  19. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    As far as the labels go; calling Grimey "1st Division" was obviously just wrong, but in general the sections were actually referred to as "Divisions" for quite a while by some contest organisers including the National Championships, and at least 2 banders used the word themselves on camera. Bit of a non-issue really imho.... I thought it was a pretty good programme overall, not nearly as cringe-inducing or patronising or fun-poking as it could have been.

    I was irritated by the focus on the Yorkshire Areas as the most important contest in the World ever without any reference to the rest of the UK though, and no effort to show why the areas are such a big deal (you know, little things like gradings and qualification for the National Finals). It would have been nice to see at least a footnote about the bands that qualifyied for the finals and/or got promoted.

    and I thought the most entertaining part of the whole programme was Grimey's "equal opportunities" comedy skit...!
  20. tkhbss

    tkhbss Member

    Wasn't Duncan also in film "Full Monty" conducting? Seems to get his fair share of publicity - perhaps he knows how to get more media coverage for the Brass Band World in general???

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