Brass Britain

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Sopman, May 21, 2008.

  1. Sopman

    Sopman Member

    What did anyone think about "Brass Britain" broadcast on Radio 2 the other night? I thought it was a good first programme and will definately listen to the rest of the series.
  2. Di B

    Di B Member

    Thought it was ok and I would listen to the rest. Overall good! The thing that drove me mad though was the music chosen. Most of it 'typical' brass band style and when they did something different they pick super cheesey. Pieces played that I remember are most of the soundtrack from brassed off, jerusalem, the hovis tune as it is remembered by neil kinnock, and an arrangement of Robbies Angels. I really hope that they at least include snippets of some more recent pieces going forward to show the banding variety - maybe next week when they discuss contesting?
  3. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    Dammit I missed this. Thanks for reminding me I'll have to "listen again" it tonight.
  4. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    This kind of misrepresentation is always a problem when Brass Bands are broadcast on mainsrteam radio/TV and is the main reason orchestral types look down their noses at us and the likes of Classic FM won't play us. It also contributes to the reason that, in audience poles of the most popular music played on the radio, brass band music always comes near the bottom. Sometimes these programmes do our cause more harm than good.
  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    What a broad brush... Us'n'them attitudes help nobody.

    For reference, the only people I've ever found who are 'orchestral types' who 'looks down their noses' at brass band players have uniformly been appalling players who do their best to look down their noses at absolutely everybody; Hyacinth Bucket - alikes.

    Hints of inverted snobbery on this issue keep popping up on tMP... It's a bit wearing.
  6. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    I don't mean to generalise but I can only speak from experience. I have on several occasions experienced a patronising attitude from orchestral players (and non-players) who have been genuinely surprised to be told that the brass band repertoire extends beyond the Floral Dance. As for inverted snobbery, nothing could be further from the truth. I am all in favour of TV & radio programmes promoting our cause. I just sometimes wish that they would explore some of the fantastic original brass band music that is out there instead of perpetuating the myth that all we can play is classical transcriptions, poorly arranged pop songs and marches.
  7. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid it is the case that brass bands very often do themselves no favours at all when perceptions of the music that we play are brought up. People are surprised that we play more than cheese? Why should we find this unexpected? After all, all we play for anyone else is cheese. The interesting stuff we only play to each other... In contrast, orchestras rarely if ever play cheese - and the non-cheese that they have to play is consistently on a musical level which is touched only very occasionally in the whole brass band repertoire. Shostakovich, Stravinsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Wagner, R. Strauss, etc...? Good though they are, Wilby, Sparke, Gregson, Ball, et al, cannot hold a candle to them on a regular basis.

    Definition of "inverted snobbery" from
    "despising anything involved with wealth and social status and promotion lack of wealth and social status"

    Replace "wealth and social status" with "conventional musical taste".

    I do detect hints of this, I am afraid. Or at least of a certain defensiveness. We feed people nothing but cheese, and then you are surprised when they expect nothing but cheese from us, and think them patronising for having thought that?
  8. alks

    alks Member

    Cheese does get a bit of a bashing sometimes. Nothing wrong with a bit of cheese. I've known people who live for cheese. Lets hear it for the cheese.....
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Mm, a nice hard Wensleydale...
  10. T Winch

    T Winch Member

    Do we play cheese because it is all our audiences expect, or do our audiences expect cheese because it's all we play? I once played in a band where I was told that we couldn't programme a certain piece because the audience wouldn't appreciate it as they wouldn't recognise the tune. Sometimes we are all guilty of patronisation. I wasn't trying to lay the blame at anyones door in particular (except maybe the radio/TV producers who seem hellbent on maintaining out cloth cap image), just expressing a wish that it didn't have to be the case. I have to admit to being partial to a portion of cheese myself but only as part of a much larger sandwich ;)
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    It's quite an effective vicious circle, isn't it?
  12. Ashley Byrne

    Ashley Byrne New Member

    As the Exec Producer of Brass Britain, it's great to get feedback for the programme and i'm glad that generally people liked the first episode. We certainly got some excellent reviews and previews throughout the national press.

    With regards to the music used, i think you'll find we cover a broad range across the four part series (especially in part 4) and i for one like anything played by brass or by a brass band - traditional, new, modern, alternative and cheese. It should all be celebrated!
  13. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Having listened to part 1 - online - I have to ask: who are the intended audience?

    If it's 'brass banders' - players or fans - why the 'cheese' and repetitive 'history'?

    If it's to introduce a new audience to brass bands - why the 23:30 timeslot? (I can imagine lots of folk thinking "Ooh, brass bands, I'll stay up and listen to that" - NOT!)

    So, what's the intention?
  14. Ashley Byrne

    Ashley Byrne New Member

    The time slot is set by the network and all music features on Radio 2 now feature in the 11.30pm time slot on Mondays and Tuesdays. Those of us who don't want/can't stay up so late can of course listen again on line.

    The programme is about brass not just brass bands and it is aimed at the general Radio 2 audience so it has to appeal across the board.

    The series has elements which will be interesting specifically to the brass band community but it also features elements which will be of interest more widely to the Radio 2 audience.

    As you can imagine, it's quite a difficult balancing act and you can never please everybody in just four half an hour episodes. We could have done 24 episodes never mind 4, there was so much to go at. We're also attempting to cover two centuries of history together with trying to represent all four corners of the United Kingdom as well.
  15. Ashley Byrne

    Ashley Byrne New Member

    Incidentally, radio listening late at night is quite big (people tend to go back to radio from TV after 10/11pm) and audiences tend to be more attentive than they are earlier in the day which is probably why the music features now feature in the late night slots that they do.
  16. FlugelD

    FlugelD Member

    Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    All I need now is a promise that Tel won't heard singing again, and I'll listen to the rest of the series... ;)
  17. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

  18. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    ....although I did find having Kinnock extolling the virtues of Bands over Jerusalem (and England's green and pleasant land) mildly amusing ;)
  19. weenie

    weenie Member

    They should have played some brass band salsa!! ;-)
  20. Ashley Byrne

    Ashley Byrne New Member

    So has anyone heard parts 2 and 3 of Brass Brtain? Was wondering what you thought of those ones?

    All feedback is great to get.


    Exec Prod

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