Cheesy Music

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by startingsop, May 11, 2015.

  1. startingsop

    startingsop New Member

    I depped for a different band the other day, a community band which has only been going for about 3 years. Their selection of music was, to put it bluntly, cheesy. However it was fun, easy enough for most of the members to play confidently, and above all fun for the audience to listen to. The conductor even wore a straw boater and pale coloured jacket to add the the effect.

    It occurred to me that the other two bands I play for go out of their way to avoid cheesy music at all costs. This means that the audiences we play for have to listen to our selection of ex-test pieces, arrangements of recent popular music (to keep our younger members happy) and other peices requested by band members. One band I play for has music exclusively selected by the MD. At a recent concert we played our sophisticated selection of pieces, but the audience's most enthusiastic applause was reserved for.... the floral dance.

    This got me thinking - for public audiences, and particularly for bandstand jobs, should we be doing a lot more cheesy music, which the audience love, and a bit less of the esoteric stuff which is harder to play and even harder to listen to? Bring on the Gorgonzola??
    Martin likes this.
  2. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

  3. Tom-King

    Tom-King Well-Known Member


    At the end of the day, it has to be enjoyable for the players or the bands will not be there - there's enough of a struggle for players to begin with.
    It's not as simple as just putting the audience first, there needs to be a compromise - enough cheese for audience enjoyment (but not too much, I don't think an audience would enjoy a 100% cheese programme) but not so much that players can't be bothered.

    Most of the bands I've played with (and those I've depped for) have had a pretty good balance of stuff, there doesn't seem a need to push more cheese to me.
  4. Cornet Nev.

    Cornet Nev. Member

    Depends on the general consensus of the band to some extent as to the music played.
    However, when playing a concert to raise funds for the band, it is bottoms on seats that matters, if cheesy gets that result and the band has a reputation of playing cheesy stuff for concerts and it works at getting those seats filled, then why not?
    Your general audience wants to hear music they understand, they are not adjudicators for a contest!
  5. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    I'm still trying to reconcile the OP's assertion that they play arrangements of modern music but go out of their way to avoid cheesy music...
  6. DS2014

    DS2014 Active Member

    I like the The Floral Dance: I like playing it and I like listening to others playing it. It sounds like the summer. So there.
  7. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    Keep trying, I am sure the answer will come to someone as clever as yourself very soon.
  8. Bbmad

    Bbmad Active Member

    My bands last concert included:

    Could it brie magic by Take That
    Gouda Vibrations by The Beach Boys
    Theme from the Edambusters by Eric Coates
    Cheddar Noooga Choo Choo

    etc, etc.

    The crowd seemed to enjoy it.
  9. pedaller

    pedaller Member

  10. Phil3822

    Phil3822 Member

    I am not sure what constitutes as "cheese" however I play for two bands, one band plays nearly all march's and traditional brass band music with an occasional modern ish/popular arrangement. The other band I play for plays mostly modern ish arrangements. The modern ish one is mostly the more successful.

    Example on the playlist include:
    I'm gonna be (500 miles)
    Frozen (From animated film)
    Game of Thrones Theme tune
    Colditz theme tune
    Pirates of the Caribbean (Most recent film collection)
    American Trilogy
    King of the road
    Marching Through Wales
    Fame and Glory
    and many more (Maybe this is cheesy?)
  11. second_horn

    second_horn Member

    Me too! I was so dissapointed when I went to see Brighouse & Rastrick last year and they never played it! I get the mick taken out of me by my band, but then somebody requested it at one of our concerts and we had to play it! Reminds me of my first ever band when I was 10, we used to play it then (I've recently returned after 30 odd years). I've still got the single on vinyl!
  12. MrBaritone

    MrBaritone New Member

    Thats a great cheesy tune. Got to love a bit of on ilkley moor bah t'at too and Zambesi. And I like Paul Lovatt Cooper's music too
  13. mattthebass

    mattthebass Member

    I prefer to term this type of music 'foot tappers', I think calling it cheesey does it a dis-service. There are many factors to the type of programme you play, standard of the band, the venue, age of the audience, themes etc etc.

    Brain Harper once lent me his paper for his degree, it was about whether their could ever be a professional brass band, included in it were several interviews with members of the audience, it was interesting to see that people view orchestral music as serious and brass band music/concerts as entertainment and I think we have to be realistic about our place in the world, people come to see a brass band (most bands, the not the elite perhaps) to be entertained and not their brain cells tingled and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    From my personal experience I have two main experiences to draw from. Firstly when I played with a band at Stroud a couple of chaps commented to me how they had enjoyed our concert, compared with the vastly superior band which had played 'dull and serious' music the week before. Now these are people who are avid followers of brass bands and they still expect a cerain about of entertainment within our programmes. We gave it them with pieces like 1812 and the gates of Kiev, pieces everyone knows the tune too, so can tap their feet and not easy band pieces to pull off well.

    Secondly under the conductorship of Brain Harper we played alot of popular music, not paying lip service we rehearsed it and played it well. Over the two years he was at the helm we saw our audiences triple, we started putting theme nights on and made a lot of money. We did not dumb down our quality, we simple adapted our programme to suit our audience.

    I used to love watching Les Dawson crashing around on the piano, but as someone once said to me. You have to be a ruddy good piano player to pull off acting like a rubbish one! And I think that is the same with foot tapping music, anyone can play them, but can you play them well?

    What I think I trying to say as people like a brass band to play foot tappers, there is nothing wrong with that and if you are worried about the band loosing it skill then it is very simple, don't brush these pieces off as easy as there are plenty out there to give the audience what they what and the band the test they want.
    Last edited: May 21, 2015