....the sad demise of my band needs some sort of explanation, over and above the comments I have made so far. Never mind the solving of "Poincares Conjecture", an easy task comapared to the question, what causes a band to finally pack in? The banal answer of course is, lack of players, as in the old addage "what did he die from?....answer...he was short of breath" yep, we all know that bit dont we? The question is, why were we short of players? and why were we unable to recruit any new ones? The answer is......... "Alice in Wonderland" ......this bizzar world that is the Brass Band movement. No means yes, and yes means no. You win a few contests, and suddenly you are all "bezzy mates in the whole wide world", loose a few, and suddenly you feel about as welcome as a fart in a space suit in your own band room. You ring a whole string of players who all say "yes" they will come down for a blow, but what they really meant was "no, stick your band up your ****". You deal with all manner of email inquires as a result of adds on this site,FBR and our own web site, they all say "yes, I will come to your next rehearsal, when is it?" but what they mean is "no, stick your band up your ****" and you never see them. Whats going on here? its got me beat. The other part of the equation is what I call....." critical brass mass". If you have a small outfit, i.e. ten to fifteen competant and RELIABLE players who you can rely on to turn up day in and day out, you can survive quite well. When it comes to contests you can always twist the same old arms to make up the numbers, and the same old arms will turn out for you and give you a respectable result. However if you fall below this critical mass, it becomes impossible to turn it round, word goes round that you are "in trouble". This rummour is confirmed by the amount of borrowed players you have to rely on to do a gig, who report back to their own bands that you are "in trouble" so any players who might want to move from these bands wont move to your band because you are "in trouble". Then you start advertising for players on TMP,4BR and your own web site, which is of course more evidence that your band is ...."in trouble" and more reason not to join your band. Sometimes you might get lucky, and the odd player or two may turn up at your band room. They will of course have a good look round at what you have, and ask the usual questions about how many players you really have. They usually then decide not to join you because you are short of players, which is of course why you ran the add, and it is because they read the add that they have turned up in your band room to discover the fact that you are short of players, which is why you have an add in the first place. These players of course are never seen again, but of course they report back to other bands that you are................"in trouble" so of course when your next add is seen no one will apply because........well, you get the idea.