Butlins 2013

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Bonjour_Laura, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Eric Ball was never a pusher of dissonance, even in our cosy bandy world that even 50 years ago was pretending that nothing had musically developed in the 50 years preceding that. And there are still many within bands who find various bits of RSA a bit too fruity for their tastes...

    Banding has always looked inward.
  2. dhanimiller

    dhanimiller Member

    You can hardly say the likes of Resurgam and Journey into Freedom were the standard sort of banding repertoire at the time of release though. Not disagreeing with you, just frustrating that we shoot ourselves in the foot with regards to evolving!
  3. wittig

    wittig Member

    Are you trying to achieve anything by being so obstreperous?

    I don't understand, because you start off constructively by asking for people's opinions and raise an interesting discussion point and then subsequently are dismissive/pick faults when people voice their own opinions.

    You've said quite a lot about what you don't find entertaining without nailing your colours to the mast with many/any examples of what you do find entertaining - which is absolutely fine - because it's secondary to the very point that you have raised. Wingates did something brave and demonstrated that there IS a different approach in trying to acheive brass banding "entertainment" and surely at a brass band contest, surrounded by people that know brass bands and what they are capable of is the right place to showcase that and try something different.

    It's not vital that everyone in the audience loves absolutely everything that is played - nor do I think it would be a good idea to try and "educate" your audience for an entire full length concert programme, but in my opinion, until the brass band community

    Until the brass band community itself becomes more open-minded about what a brass band should play (we don't have to personally like the full repertoire), there will be next to no change in "the general public's" perception that brass bands play marches, hymn tunes and "Brassed Off" type music.

    Which, in itself, is perpetuated by the type of performances that "the general public" is likely to hear - bandstand or local fete jobs. Free concerts. You know, the ones performed by local village bands that through no fault of their own aren't up to the standard to play some of the more ambitious/modern works, or have inherited/old music libraries full of all the old staple concert pieces that are trudged out every year. Or, more significantly, by some of our more capable bands (e.g 3rd section upwards) that have large music libraries full of varied and challenging music, but every year when these jobs are coming up, find that half the cornet section is posted missing that day and half a dozen deps are required. Out the window goes the prospect of playing anything even remotely ambitious and it's the same old stuff that is played once again.

    The paying brass band audience is getting older, in 20 years time (or less!) it will be mostly gone. If a little effort is put in now to try and change perceptions there might still be an audience left to play to by the time I am 50.
  4. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    Well I have had a listen to the video and to be honest heard nothing new.

    I have plenty of recordings of the Pearly B Band that sound very like parts of Mr Magoo's opus. The only difference being that we were trying to play Hootenanny at the time!

    LOL, smiley face, xxx etc
  5. damarocto

    damarocto Member

    I have played and listened to many peices over the years, where on first run through/listening thought What the b"£$%^y Hell was that load of tosh!! After getting to know the pieces through subsequent practice or listening ( including a few recent test pieces ) I have come to enjoy most of them and appreciated the writing and skill thats gone into the compositions. Even the test piece on saturday it took me a couple of bands to really enjoy it, and Im a massive fan of Mr Sparke. There were several other new compositions (new to me)that I heard throughout the competition on sunday, from the pen of Robert Rock, The immensly talanted Johnny Bates and Andrew Baker (or is it Andre!!!) Which I really enjoyed, and was entertained by from first listen.
    I think that if I had worked on the piece or listened to it more I may have enjoyed the performance. However, It was the first time for me and it didnt really "entertain" me!! Ok, you may think that I am a complete Phillistine for not appreciating it, but thats me!!! I was most entertained on the day by The Redbridge band, EYMS band and the Woodfalls Band. Ok, Maybe some of the playing wasnt in the as good as Gus or Flowers, but they took a risk (as did Wingates ) and tried to "entertain". Like I said previously, Why call it an Entertainments contest? if the only judge, judging the entertainment aspect, doesnt count in the overall result!!!
    If 90% of bands in this country played this kind of music they wouldnt have an audience for a subsequent concert!! Hence most of the audience on sunday!!! Which is why the applause was muted. I have no doubt that it was fantastically Writen and has its place in other "outlets", but I personally dont think it worked here! I know that Mr Ried asked for innovation a couple of years back but it wasnt rewarded Here!!!!
  6. dhanimiller

    dhanimiller Member

    Hear, Hear!
  7. ben16

    ben16 Member

    Please explain???!

    I largely agree with what your other points, btw.
  8. Bob Sherunkle

    Bob Sherunkle Active Member

    I'm all for a bit of variety.

    Sadly I didn't get to hear many top section performances as due to a serious misunderstanding at check-in I spent most of the weekend entertaining small children dressed as Bob the Builder.

    I did manage to hear Redbridge on Sunday however and thought the undoubted highlight was the quartet of Swiss Bells playing The Swan. It did make me realise afterwards however that I couldn't tell you how the band played as I was too busy enjoying the comedy gold provided by the camp campanologists.

    I'm not sure if that is a good thing but most definitely entertainment.
  9. drumstyx

    drumstyx New Member

    Paul Mcghees masterpiece.

    So. As the shaker guy, you afore mentioned, do explain to me how you found the whole piece boring? Also. My 'lap of honour, was a panning effect requested by Paul.. I'd really enjoy hearing how you'd like the piece to go so we can pass your thoughts onto Paul.. Who I'm sure will be very happy to hear what you e got to say.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  10. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I predict a riot, I predict a riot !
  11. Sonorous

    Sonorous New Member

    Basically take out the word entertainment from the contest. Its forever associated with an obsession with standing up and sitting down! Should this be retitled a performance contest? have an innovation award?

    Wingates performance absolutely should not be copied by every band in the country. But if just some bands take it as an inspiration to push at the boundaries of brass band 'entertainment' then this is a great thing. Not for everyone this type of thing, potentially not for most actually, but thank god at least some bands are trying it!
  12. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I have to ask, you look failiar. Did you carry one of the Oliympic torches on its way through Shropshire? I swear I saw you running past woolworths.

    I also have to say, that music (allthough possibly brilliantly played, I say possibly because I really dont know) is exactly what I mean when I use the term "Plinky Plonk"
  13. mfearn

    mfearn New Member

    Wingates Band Entertainment Programme

    Dear All,

    It is good that people are now realising what we (Wingates Band) set out to do & why we went for something different?

    Why you may ask?

    1. What does everyone's program consist of?

    a) March
    b) Soloist
    c) hymn tune arrangement
    d) fast piece
    e) big finisher.

    2. What did Wingates Band do?

    a) 20 minutes of new and unique music.

    So what is it all about?

    Episodes, Occurrences & Interludes

    Compere announcements to happen whilst the band is off stage, possibly towards the end of the stage being set up.
    Episodes, Occurrences and Interludes was commissioned by Derwent Brass, with funds from the PRS for music foundation, as part of their 20[SUP]th[/SUP] anniversary celebrations.
    The piece was written between October 2011 and January 2012, receiving it's premiere on Saturday 25th February 2012 at the Landau Forte Theatre in Derby, performed by Derwent Brass and conducted by Keith Leonard.
    I had been speaking with Keith and Chris Leonard since 2010 about the possibility of producing something for the 20th anniversary of Derwent Brass. Having known both of them for over ten years, I was both excited and honored at the opportunity to be involved in their anniversary celebrations. Throughout 2011 all our ideas began to snowball and from the initial thoughts of having a single piece written, it's fantastic to have finally produced an entire 20 minute, mini concert programme of six brand new pieces to celebrate the bands milestone year.
    I wasn't interested in producing a generic work for this celebration, I wanted to produce something personal, with a true Derwent Bras identity - something unique. To realise this I asked the ensemble members to send me any stories of their times in the band. Funny, sad, happy, reflective; anything that represented memories from their years with Derwent Brass. These tales gave me the foundation for the work and motivated and directed the entire musical direction.
    The pieces that we have created together hopefully give the band a personal association with the music that goes beyond the 20th anniversary year and are something that all associated with the organisation can be truly proud of.

    Bringing Down Etwall, Plaster First!!
    One story that occurred a few times when talking to the players from Derwent was when then band played at a concert in St Helen's church in Etwall. It was during Eric Ball's piece, Kingdom Triumphant that the damage can be tracked back to! After the piece had concluded many of the players had wandered to the back area of the church to see that their efforts had managed to bring down a rather large amount of detailed plaster and carving from the roof. Not being your usual boastful Brass players, the finger of blame was quickly directed to the Percussion section; notably Mr Alun Hathaway on Timpani.

    In honor of the building, and the safety of auditoriums everywhere, I have resisted the urge to use Timpani in this piece, enough damage has already been caused!!
    A Kerb Side Drop Off!!
    Last minute notifications, sudden movement from doing nothing, warming up outside in the cold and edge of the seat contest thrills; welcome to the life of a 'bander'! On the morning of an entertainment contest the players of Derwent Brass find themselves without a coach and not much time. Jumping into cars and a van, with all their gear, the impromptu convoy headed for the contest. Abandoning cars and kit on double yellow lines the players made it just in time............. and WON!!!
    A Kerb Side Drop Off is an adrenaline filled snippet of a contest day. Over enthusiastic Bass lines, out of tune melodic passages, misplaced march figures and inappropriate Drum Kits with enthusiasm overload................. This piece has them all!
    Abraham's Silent White Knuckle Night Cable Ride!!!
    I have to admit that the concert which Derwent Brass perform at each year at the Heights of Abraham in the Peak District is one that if I was a player in the band I would arrange a dep. to cover for me every time! A country park and caverns that are reached by cable car over a deep limestone gorge is not my idea of fun. Neither was it fun for Martyn Johnson, the bands solo Trombone player, as his knuckles got white from the tightness of his grip and his heart raced as others looked on with amusement!
    The constant metronomic pulse throughout the piece captures the heart stopping fear of the situation whilst the chorale like beauty captures the picturesque back drop to which this horror occurs.
    New Doors, Broken Drawers; Sleep Tight Myfanwy..........................
    Of all the players that sent me stories, there were not many that did not include either Dougie Sheldon or Eric Johnson (both ex-euphonium players in the band). With the two players being held so closely in the bands thoughts it seemed appropriate to dedicate the Euphonium solo to their memories.
    The piece, split in two sections, represents the spirit of the two former players. Dougie had a knack for acquiring things that the band may have needed. New doors, filing cabinets, bricks or shelving; if the band needed it then the item would often arrive at the next rehearsal strapped to his car. It is this spirit I love about brass bands and one that aims to be captured in the first section.
    The slow section pays tribute to Eric and the performance of Myfanwy at one of his last concerts. It's a performance that has been described as faultless and the reflective section seemed an appropriate way to end the piece.

    Torquay at Midnight................... The Horror!!
    I love contesting and I really hate contesting, often both feelings occurring at the same time! The adrenaline boost you get when a performance is great is truly a brilliant feeling. Unfortunately the hours of waiting, the potluck of the draw and the opinions of two people can make these days hard to stomach.
    At the 2002 national finals, held in Torquay, the Staffordshire Band had the 'honor' of becoming the first brass band to play on two days (their performance started before and ended after midnight). The melancholic horror of what that day must have been like is captured in the music, along with the still like quality of an autumnal Sunday at midnight.
    Dionysus throws a Bacchanalia, B.Y.O.B!!!!
    Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. To his friends he was called Bacchus, whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive constraints of the powerful.
    The Bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals but here we have a modern twist. *People slowly begin to arrive at a house party. With gradually more and more people arriving the chatter becomes more frantic and insistent. We are eventually led into the party where the music is loud and driven and conversation becomes a shouting contest. A momentary escape outside, away from the party, leaves the music pulsing in the background before a slam of the door brings us back to the party and the mayhem of before.
    *At this point the band will start playing as you are talking.

    Paul McGhee

    So have a listen again and think about these ideas?


    or watch



    Reflecting on concerts and banding life?

    How many people have full audiences at concerts? - Grimethorpe can't afford to keep going (maybe cut expenses) so what have Wingates done to address this?

    Asked for concert feedback and tried something new.

    If you ever come to a Wingates Concert it is likely you will be given something different and contrasting. For the concert programs prior to the Christmas season we would end our programmes with Matt Corrigan singing (Solo Euph) Any Dream Will Do to the arrangement we do with the Houghton Weavers Folk Group and during the Christmas Season we included Baby It's Cold Outside sung by Matt & Lizzy, (2nd Man) as a duet?

    How did the audience take to this?

    Well they loved it and when questioned about what they like they always say the singing made their night. After a joint concert with Sale Brass an old lady approached one of the band members and complemented saying "you always save the best to last" and yes it was Matt's singing.

    What next?

    Unless we give audiences something new or something different we will lose more and more brass bands which is already happening around the country, experiencing this first hand with the Timperley Band.

    Wingates Band
  14. Pauli Walnuts

    Pauli Walnuts Moderator Staff Member

    The Urban Dictionary has this to say about "Plinky Plonk":

    [TABLE="width: 475"]
    [TD="class: word"][/TD]
    [TD="class: tools, align: right"]
    [TD="class: text, colspan: 2"]A musical style that allows the listener to predict the entire track within 8 bars or less, usually favored by lesser talented drum and bass producers (who are in fact not making drum and bass!)
    Not sure you could have predicted any of this work within 8 bars or less.
  15. Spud

    Spud New Member

    Wingates tried something adventurous and different, it was a big gamble, and by virtue of this thread has worked. It was done to provoke a response from the audience and convey a message to the traditionalists – Banding has to open its mind to other possibilities.
    Well done to the other Bands and well done to the soloists, it was a fair competition, on a level field.
    So let’s talk some more about the future of our niche of music .......
  16. dhanimiller

    dhanimiller Member

    Thank heavens nobody did Gangnam Style.....
  17. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    I couldnt of predicted what note was comming from where next ! Seriously, fair play to the band, its just not for me, sort of reminds me of those people at art galleries that see a herd of horses running across the side of a mountain, when most people there actually see blobs !
  18. sbandsman

    sbandsman Member

    You didn't get into "REDS" on Saturday night then Bruce! Ok it was not a "Band" arrangement but it did get people on the floor!
  19. damarocto

    damarocto Member

    I think that to listen to the performance on soundcloud or youtube, and after divulging the story of the description of the piece, may be entertaining and good. Throughout the performance the transcript was shown on the screens either side of the stage. However, the pages turned over so fast that it was impossible to read each page before the next one appeared! Moreover if you were to take in what was on the screens there is no way that you could listen too or understand the playing at the same time (unless you were female and could multi task). I understand the logic of doing what you did and yes the band must be applauded for this!! and the composer!!! It was too much for me to take in Im afraid and as I said wasnt really entertained by it on the day.
    I also agree about the need for bands to diversify and also find that the audience love to hear "some things that they know" and a bit of singing does no harm. If you were to play Episodes in Albert Halls, or some other local venue, during one of your "normal" Concerts, there wont be as many in for the next one. Please dont take anything that I have said as a dig at wingates band!! Its not I have a lot of respect for the band, just a personal view of the day.
    btw in a previous post I refered to robert rock!!!! sorry richard!!!
  20. mfearn

    mfearn New Member

    We had issues with the PowerPoint as the system at Butlins was up and down and when we wanted to test this in the morning we couldnt because of technical failure from the techs at Butlins.