Another disappointing weekend for Midlands top-section bands. Has there been a decline? If so, what can be the cause? At one time, we had bands such as GUS, Desford, Sovereign, Staffordshire, to name a few, giving performances to challenge the best in the country. Recently, the majority of top section Midlands bands struggle to make the top ten in the National Finals. The top three at Pontins should be well within these bands' capabilities, so what is going wrong? Having friends in these bands, I do not want them to see this post as a criticism, merely a reasonable question to a baffling situation. The other question to ask is why so few of these bands support their Association/local contests? Is there a lack of self-confidence? I'm confused!